CHN Health Matters
People’s lives can change in an instant due to a fall. As we age our risk of a fall increases. This is due to a number of factors including weaker muscles, arthritic joints, taking multiple medications, and loss of balance as we age. In Wisconsin, other factors like ice on walkways markedly increase risk. There are things we can do to reduce risk.
It is reported that one out of three Americans over the age of 65 fall every year. In 2013 there were about 2.5 million emergency room visits with 734,000 hospitalizations due to falls. There were about 30,000 deaths due to falls with the majority of the deaths due to traumatic brain injury.
Falls commonly break bones. Breaking a large bone is a big deal. Studies show that only 20 percent of elderly folks who break a hip survive for one year and 9 percent die in the first 30 days. The bone can be fixed but the stress of the surgery along with the other factors, including age and medical problems associated with recovery, increase the death rate.