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Deaths From Falls Rising Among Seniors: CDC

Deaths From Falls Rising Among Seniors: CDC

(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:48 AM

Falls are the leading cause of injuries and death among the elderly — that's the sobering news coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says an eye-opening 29 million of them in 2014 caused 7 million injuries totaling about $31 billion in Medicare costs.

The new numbers come on the heels of the National Council on Aging's Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept. 22, which underscored the need for caregivers and loved ones to recognize the disturbing uptick in those aged 65 and over.

The CDC's study — "Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults 65 Years and Older" — cites the critical need necessary to prevent accidents in the more than 10,000 older Americans turning 65 each day, as well as the expected surge in associated costs treating falls.

The CDC urges healthcare providers to ask patients if they are experiencing any unsteadiness, or if they have fallen in the past year. It also recommends vitamin D supplements, which can strengthen bones.

The CDC offers advice for those prone to falls too:

  • Talk to your doctor about any recent falls, missteps or close calls
  • Explore medication options specific to individual needs
  • Get an eye exam every year, as many falls may be avoided with proper vision correction
  • Enroll in body-strengthening and coordination-improving programs and techniques, such as tai chi

The CDC says in the United States, an older American falls every second — and more must be done to prevent them. Its newly launched STEADI initiative aims to do just that. (STEADI stands for Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries.) The plan is based on clinical guides and provides resources for patients and caregivers alike.


 

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Falls are the leading cause of injuries and death among seniors — that's the sobering news coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says an eye-opening 29 million of them in 2014 caused 7 million injuries totaling about $31 billion in Medicare costs.
falls, seniors, cdc, elderly injuries
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2016-48-27
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:48 AM
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