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Fatal Falls Among the Elderly up 30 Percent

The Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed last Friday that the number of elderly adults dying after a fall has increased 31% since 2007. In 2016, 29,668 adults age 65 and older suffered a fatal fall, up from just 18,000 in 2007.

After reviewing death certificates, the CDC discovered that the number of fatal falls was the highest in the 85 and older age group, with 247.9 deaths per 100,000 seniors in 2016. That same year, there were 15.6 fatal falls per 100,000 seniors age 65-74. The CDC also reports that 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older say they’ve fallen in the past year.

U.S Census Bureau totals show that Americans age 85 and older are the fastest growing age group in this country. Thanks to advances in medicine and greater knowledge about healthy living, Americans are living longer than ever. As the baby boomer generation advances in age, the 85+ age group is expected to swell to 8.9 million by 2030. With falls increasing, particularly in those 85 and older and with more Americans soon entering that group, the CDC is concerned with how to protect elderly Americans from falls.

 

Preventing Falls
The CDC’s report points to several preventative methods for reducing the risk of falls, including incorporating assessments for fall risk during regular check ups. Specifically, the CDC notes that it would be particularly useful to review a patient’s medication regimen to determine if any medications interact with each other to cause stability and mobility issues, as well as assessing the patient’s balance and physical strength.

While many nursing homes promise to offer vigilant care that keeps a watchful eye on residents, medication interactions, an overwhelmed, overworked staff, and non-existent or useless policies on post-fall procedures can spell disaster for your loved one. Even residents with a comprehensive fall risk prevention plan in their chart have suffered a fall.

While some falls can just happen, many shouldn’t. If someone you love has fallen in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, call the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti.

We have over 25 years experience reviewing cases, deposing nursing home staff and physicians, and finding out what went wrong. We’ve successfully settled and tried thousands of cases against nursing homes throughout Chicago and the state of Illinois. Call us now at (312) 332-2872 or toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys. Or click here to complete our online case evaluation form.