Every second of every day in the United States an older adult falls, making falls the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans.
In 2014 alone, older Americans experienced 29 million falls causing seven million injuries and costing an estimated $31 billion in annual Medicare costs, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
The new numbers are being released in conjunction with the 9th Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). The observance addresses the growing public health issue and promotes evidence-based prevention programs and strategies to reduce the more than 27,000 fall deaths in older adults each year.
“Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Healthcare providers can make fall prevention a routine part of care in their practice, and older adults can take steps to protect themselves.”
With more than 10,000 older Americans turning 65 each day, the number of fall-related injuries and deaths is expected to surge, resulting in cost increases unless preventive measures are taken.