Falls are one of the largest burdens on the healthcare industry and unfortunately, it is not forecast to get better any time soon. In 2015, falls cost the United States healthcare system an estimated 50 billion dollars. With the rising number of baby boomers retiring each year, costs are expected to increase by up to 20% per year through 2025.
Life Expectancy After a Fall
A fall is truly a life-changing event. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 20% falls result in serious injuries (such as a fracture). Even more shocking, the average life expectancy of a person over the age of 70 who suffers a serious fall-related injury is only 18 months!
Recovering After a Fall
The recovery after a fall is very difficult. In fact, only 22% of independently living seniors who suffered a fall were able to return to living alone after falling, with almost 50% needing long-term nursing home assistance. Depending on the extent of the injury, a person may require physical therapy for up to 6 months after a fall.
The Key is Fall Prevention
There is undeniable evidence that physical therapy focused on balance, strength, and fall prevention education can reduce the risk of a fall by over 50%. There are also other benefits of improving these things, such as increased quality of life and community participation.
If you have any more questions or comments about fall prevention, send an email to Justin Stiver, DPT, CSCS. Justin is the Director of Rehab for Total Therapy Florida.