The Cost of a Senior Fall: Physical and Financial Burden
Why Senior Fall Risks DEMAND Simplified Home Care Prevention Solutions
Terri Murphy, CSA
President – Hope Senior Home Care
All of us are very familiar with the phrase, “penny wise, pound foolish”. Never is this phrase more applicable than in the quiet homes of millions of aging seniors across the country. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here are just some of the facts:
- Annual medical costs for falls total more than $50 billion and are expected to rise.
- Every year, millions of seniors 65 and older are treated in emergency departments due to falls.
- Every year, more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of a fall injury.
- A large percentage of falls often result in a broken hip or head injury.
- The average hospital cost alone for a fall injury is more than $30,000 and is expected to grow.
And what about other tolls on the senior? Such as the start of a senior’s accelerated health decline, loss of function, loss of independence, and even death.
With this harsh reality confronting us, why on earth are we not taking more preventative measures to protect our seniors because Falls are not necessarily inevitable.
The medical profession unanimously agrees that steps can be taken to prevent falls such as:
- Having regular hearing and vision exams.
- Focus on exercise, health nutrition, and muscle strengthening.
- Review medications to identify those likely to cause weakness or dizziness.
- Use of assistive devices such as canes, walkers, or shoes with slip resistant soles.
- Home modifications such as removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars, and improving lighting.
While these are all terrific suggestions and they work, what about the home itself? Who is checking on a regular basis to make sure the senior who is home alone, or is with another aging senior such as a spouse or sibling, is staying safe in a safe environment?
This is where Simplified Home Care Prevention Solutions are both penny and pound Smart. At a minimum monthly cost of $300 (.1% the cost of the average hospital cost for a fall injury) here is what the senior and their families can expect:
- A weekly 2-hour visit by a licensed, insured, professional caregiver.
- A monthly 1-hour visit by a licensed, insured, LPN.
- A quarterly 1-hour visit by a licensed, insured, social worker.
- A personal emergency response unit. Just in case as there are no guarantees and falls may still occur.
These quick touch visits can significantly improve the assessment of the seniors living conditions whether it be a decline in health, lack of good nutrition, inconsistent medicinal routine, poor hydration, need for assistive devices, cluttered walk areas and more.