weekly blog--one for the ages
This will be a short one today. Home now from surgery for a torn quadricep. No pain, but the recovery process will take some time. Adding to the setback is a knee brace that will limit mobility for the next few weeks, and I join one in four Americans aged 65+ that fall each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That means that every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths. In 2015, the total cost of fall injuries was $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.
Falls, with or without injury also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities and social engagements. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.