Timing makes all the Difference in the World when Treating Elderly Falls

Elderly falls account for a large portion of hospitalization each and every year. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes that 30% of all people who are 65 or over fall each year.

With so many falls among the elderly each year the following information from the New England Journal of Medicine is even more alarming. After a fall, the amount of time between the fall and being treated for the fall has a significant impact on whether or not you recover at all.

When treatment is received within one hour of the fall, 92% of fall victims are found alive. If it takes 1-3 hours to receive treatment that number falls drastically to 47%. A wait of 3-6 hours sends the number plummeting once again to 25%. If 6-12 hours pass before you receive treatment those numbers drop once more to 22%. After 48 hours of incapacitation from a fall only 12% are found alive.

Obviously, the first thing you want to do is practice preventative methods to try to minimize the risk for falls among the elderly people in your life. The Consumer Safety Council estimates that 45% of all household accidents involving serious injuries occur in one room: the bathroom. An additional 20% happen in the kitchen.

Get a grip on what’s going on in these rooms and do whatever it takes to limit the risks of falls in these rooms and you’ll be off to a great start for preventing falls for the people you love most.

For aging adults who feel it is important to live independently the fact that 50% of elderly patients who have been hospitalized with a hip fracture will never be able to return home and live independently is a sobering fact indeed.

While it’s important to know these facts and take them seriously it is even more important to enjoy the greatest possible quality of life for as long as possible. One way to do this is to remove potential obstacles from your path, clear clutter from your home, and build up strong and healthy muscles and bones to help you stay in shape and retain a strong sense of balance.

One other thing you can do to minimize your risk is consider a medical alert system. The best way by far to ensure that you or your loved one gets fast access to greatly needed help after a fall is to have an active medical alert system. The numbers don’t lie and you can see that fast access to help almost doubles the odds of survival after an incapacitating fall.

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