Do Canes or Walkers Make Any Difference in falls to older adults? This is a report of a small Michigan study of people ages 60+ who fell at home and also had an assistive device such as a cane or walker. Most who fell were not using their device at the time of the fall. Top reasons: I don’t always need it; I hold onto other things such as the furniture or walls; I forget to use it or forget where I left it; and It makes me feel old. An astounding HALF of people said they never had instruction on using their cane or walker. Published April 2017 in The Gerontologist (Luz, Bush, Shen); 8-page pdf available free
Falls, and how to prevent slips, trips and falls. The site reports that Every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Short discussion by the National Safety Council, to educate people to prevent accidental injury and its consequences. including fall-proofing your home, Many additional topics such as Road Safety and “My Car Does What?” are linked in the NSC resources.
CDC Facts on falls and seniors. Falls caused about 3 million trips to the ER, and over 800,000 hospitalizations for older people. CDC reports that “Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.” Head injury and hip fractures were the most common reasons for fall-related hospital stays. Only half of seniors who fell told their doctor. Find out steps you can take: home safety, exercise, eye exams, and medicine use. Unintentional fall death rates have been rising in the last 10 years (see graph). Updated 2021.
The Safe Living Guide: A Guide to Home Safety for Seniors is an easy to read and practical guide to making one’s home safe from injury. Topics include preventing falls in the home (a major problem in the US and Canada), medication safety, and indoor/outdoor checklists, such as examining how you reach your mailbox. Very thoughtful guide by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Division of Aging and Seniors, revised 2015.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. In 2018-2019, suicide was the leading cause of TBI deaths, accounting for more than 1/3. Falls accounted for 30% of TBI-related deaths. A lot of useful information, except no facts about healthcare costs are included.