In 2012, 24,000 Americans aged 65+ died from injuries sustained in a fall — double the number just 10 years earlier. And 2.4 million were treated in emergency rooms for injuries due to falls, a 50% jump from 10 years earlier. These are the key stats in a troubling and eyeopening report in The New York Times, Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation.
Not surprisingly, the organizations in the front line of serving the elderly — nursing homes and retirement communities — are scrambling to take preventive action and install safety systems and devices. But the lessons should also be taken to heart by individuals, particularly those in caregiving situations for older loved ones. Make sure you read the article, and then take an inventory of your own situation and the physical environment your loved one(s) must deal with.
No, this isn’t an edgy or controversial topic, such as I usually deal with (or try to). But it’s vitally important. In fact, as the article vividly demonstrates, it can be a matter of life and death. Read the piece. Make yourself informed. Take action.