According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, 1 in 3 elderly adults over the age of 65 suffer from falls, many of which happen in nursing homes—with falls being the leading cause of injury-related death in the age group.
A recent Los Angeles Times article discussed the prevalence of nursing home falls, and that as people get older and more frail, falls can have a life-altering and devastating impact on seniors—often talking a long time before the person can get back to their pre-fall health status, if ever.
To combat the problem of hospital and nursing home falls many programs across the country are being formed to improve fall awareness and prevention. In Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, senior balance classes are offered for their patients, as well as a yearly event for seniors that screen individuals to see who is at risk for falls.
In Lake County, California, a Falls Prevention Task Force has reportedly been implemented with hospitals, fire departments and senior centers, to distribute prevention and awareness literature and sponsor strength and balance classes to improve lower-body strength in seniors.
According to Lake County, when seniors suffer from broken hips due to a fall-related injury and are admitted to a hospital, over 50 percent of the seniors must spend time in a nursing facility or rehab center before going home. Twenty percent of these elderly patients will die within a year of the fall-related injuries.