Falls are the most common causes of severe injuries to seniors. About three million American seniors receive emergency treatment for their fall accidents each year. Not only is this a painful and uncomfortable experience for the seniors, but it is also a financially draining experience as well.
Emergency room visits are quite expensive. When you add the expense of a fall injury treatment on top of it, the average patient will pay about $35,000 at the hospital. Seniors can use Medicare to pay for roughly 80% of the hospital bill, but that still leaves the remaining 20% for them to pay.
On a $35,000 hospital bill, the senior would have to pay $7,000 out-of-pocket. Since most seniors live on a fixed income, they can’t pay such a high price for fall injury treatment. It is even worse if the injury causes them to have a long-term or permanent disability. Once that happens, the medical expenses will never end.
Why Do Seniors Fall So Often?
There are several reasons why seniors are more prone to fall accidents than younger people. The primary reason is their muscles, joints, and bones have severely weakened. Seniors lose bone mass and muscle strength as they get older. And if they’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle of sitting frequently, it will accelerate their physical degeneration.
As a result, seniors start to have trouble with their physical balance and coordination. They might step the wrong way or collapse suddenly because their bones or joints could not bear the stress put on them anymore. Other medical factors can also contribute to falling accidents, such as dementia, medication side effects, fatigue, high blood pressure, psychosis, alcohol consumption, foot pain, uncomfortable shoes, vision problems and low lighting.
Fall accidents have different outcomes for every senior. Sometimes a senior will only suffer a minor scrape, cut, or sore to their flesh. However, more severe fall accidents will cause fractured bones, broken bones, or head injuries. It is difficult to predict when a fall accident might happen. The best thing you can do is look for early warning signs and possible danger areas in the senior’s home.
How to Prevent Falls
Seniors can reduce the risk of falling if they make lifestyle changes and establish home safety measures. Perhaps you could help them install entrance ramps outside and raised toilet seats and shower handrails in the bathroom. You can hire a professional handyman to perform these tasks or make them a DIY project.
Your loved one will still need to practice new lifestyle changes, though. Some of the best lifestyle changes for avoiding falls include the following things:
- Nutritious eating
- Quit smoking
- Consume more calcium and vitamin D
- Drink plenty of water
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Get a full night’s sleep
Now the trick is to motivate your senior to perform these tasks each day. It could be a challenge, depending on the current state of their health. That is why you should consider hiring a home health aide to motivate and assist them with these lifestyle changes.
Hire a Home Health Aide
A home health aide is a personal care assistant. If a senior needs help exercising, cooking, bathing or moving around, a home health aide will be there to assist them every step of the way. It will be easier for the senior to take better care of themselves and avoid falls if they have a professional assistant to guide them.
Health Care of South Florida hires the most qualified and professional home health aides in South Florida. We have spent several years assisting clients in their homes and helping them avoid nasty falls.