The Facts About Falls
Falls are a great fear amongst elderly adults and with good reason. It is estimated that every 11 seconds a senior falls, and every 19 minutes a senior dies from an accidental fall. That means while reading this, 12 to 15 seniors will take a fall and put themselves at risk for serious injury or even death!
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported some staggering statistics which validate that fear:
- Each year over 29 million falls occur within our elderly population
- 3 million emergency room visits are needed as a result of these falls
- 800,000 hospitalizations will occur following an emergency room visit due to fall
- 30,000 deaths will occur within the elderly population each year due to an accidental fall
Keeping Yourself and Your Space Safe
It is said that one out of every four seniors will fall within the next 12 months. More than half who fall won’t report it to their doctor, and their chances of another fall will have just doubled. With numbers that high, it’s no surprise why more and more seniors are assessing their own homes for fall risks and weighing out the options when it comes to continuing to age at home.
It is important you become informed of your risks to prevent future falls. Lifestyle adjustments, home modifications, and proper education can help reduce your risks overall. You may find that a simple self and home assessment may be all you currently need to keep you safe and sound.
How We Reduce the Risks
Integrated Senior Lifestyles keeps falls at bay with our thoughtful design and innovative care, meant to give you power and peace of mind. Our communities strive to provide safe building environments, adequate nutrition and hydration, proper medications** and ample opportunities for socialization – all of which are proven to have a drastic impact on fall reduction.
In addition to these commitments, many of our communities have also partnered with RehabCare, a leading provider of rehabilitation services, to help further reduce our residents’ risks of falls and enhance our wellness programs. Tracking the outcomes and success of our provider partnerships is important to us, as we make every effort to further diminish these risks within our communities.
We are proud to announce that our most recent reporting data provided by RehabCare has shown an overall decrease in falls by up to 25%*. At Integrated, the care and safety of our residents is and always will be our top priority, and statistics such as this further prove that our residents can continue to enjoy a fulfilling and secure lifestyle, even as their capabilities change.
Am I At Risk?
You may be wondering “Am I at risk for a fall?” To help you answer this question, we’ve put together a quick questionnaire you can complete to determine your likelihood for an accidental fall and why.
1. Are you over the age of 65?
Your risk of fall increases as you age. Every year, over 25% of adults over the age 65 suffer from a fall.
2. Have you fallen before?
Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
3. Are you on a medication with impairing side effects?
Elderly adults are often prescribed medications that may increase their fall risk due to side effects such as dizziness, nausea, confusion, and fatigue.
4. Are you on three or more medications?
The potential side effects caused by combining medications (including both prescription and over-the-counter) can increase your fall risk. Consult with your physician before taking any new OTC medication and ask about how your medications could react with each other.
5. Do you have problems with balance?
If you have an unstable posture while walking, need assistance when moving, or struggle to balance on one leg after a few practice attempts, you should answer “Yes” to this question.
6. Is standing up from a chair difficult?
You should be able to stand up from a chair without using your arms. Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, unsteady, or faint after standing may be a sign of low blood pressure. The symptoms of low blood pressure, including those you feel as you transition from sitting to standing or from lying down to sitting up, can increase your risk for falls.
If you answered “Yes” to any one of these questions, you are at risk for a fall.
Steps to Take Now
Fortunately, falls can be prevented, but the first step starts with you. Here are a few steps you can take now to begin reducing your risk of falls:
1. Talk to your doctor or clinical team to evaluate your risks and review your medications.
2. Do strength and balance exercises to keep yourself stable and strong.
3. Check your vision at least once a year.
4. Determine any our additional risks or hazards using our complimentary fall-risk assessment.
5. Follow up with our community specialists if you prefer, to learn more about how our Integrated Senior Lifestyle communities can help mitigate your risk of falls! A complete list of our communities can be found here.
*25% fall reduction based off care at one community only. Average reduction of falls across our portfolio is 16% from April – September 2020
**Medication administration varies by community, level of care, and customized care plans