Falls are a serious matter, especially for older adults. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. Every year falls send more than 2 million seniors to the hospital, and a great deal of them are unable to return to independent living. Every second of every day in the United States an older adult falls. Elly Kleinman, President, and CEO of the Americare Companies has taken a stand to address this growing public health issue and promote evidence based prevention programs and strategies to reduce the number of falls in older adults.
With or without injury, falls generate enormous economic and personal costs. As the population ages, the financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase and reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
One-fourth of Americans aged 65 and older fall each year, show statistics. Every 11seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. In addition to their health, falls are a major threat to seniors’ safety and independence. A serious fall often results in a fractured hip, a laceration or a brain injury. In numerous occasions, this has served as a trigger for moving to a nursing home. Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions and 40% of all nursing home admissions.
Falls have a significant impact on the elderly’s quality of life. Fear of falling limits the activities and social engagements of older adults, which often results in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging and is largely preventable. Practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls prevention programs, and clinical-community partnerships, have shown that the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced. Elly Kleinman has taken note of this shocking falls statistics and is focusing on finding new ways to help lower the risk of falls for seniors.
Falls are increasingly ending the independence among older adults. Consequently, healthcare executives are incorporating quality improvement projects to reduce falls in ·alder adults receiving home health care services. This fall prevention program includes fall risk assessment, medication management, home safety assessment, fall prevention education, and individualized home-based exercise programs.
With the direct medical costs of senior falls topping $30 billion annually, falls are a huge concern for the nation’s healthcare system. Medical researchers, geriatric experts, healthcare associations, and policymakers, encourage the benefits of fall protection for seniors. As our senior population continues to grow, the negative effects are also expected to grow. Elly Kleinman, Americare puts increased emphasis on fall prevention education. Some of his strategies to reduce falls include: providing incentives to primary care providers to integrate falls prevention activities into their practice, supporting education courses and training that teach health care providers how to assess and reduce the risk, and encouraging “aging in place” to keep seniors safely in their homes.