Falls are the leading cause of injuries and deaths among older adults. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2014 there were 29 million reported falls among older Americans resulting in about 31 billion dollars in annual Medicare costs. What makes these numbers shocking is not simply the fear for older adult safety but how simple it can be to reduce their slip, trip and fall hazards to ensure their safety.
Simple education can prove to go a long way in helping older adults move around safely in their home all while maintaining their independence. At the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) we provide a holistic approach to help our clients reduce fall risks in their home. GHHI goes beyond providing the simple, yet important, older adult safety measures (handrails, grab bars, lighting etc.) and provides education to the client to assist in maintaining to senior home modifications. The GHHI model addresses the physical and nutritional adjustments that are proven by the National Institute of Aging to improve mobility as well as promote the importance of doctor-patient communication, medication management and adherence, and housing stability for homeowners. This multifaceted approach not only addresses the need of older adult homeowners in the Baltimore City area, but it also retains independence and provides our clients with a level of confidence that allows them to age gracefully and fall-free with their homes.
Why is fall prevention important? Well statistically more than 40% of hip fracture patients do not return home or are unable to live independently once they are released from the hospital. Going from independence to dependency can have major effects on an individual’s mental and social health. Impacts on mental and social health can exacerbate existing conditions by increasing stress and decreasing medication compliance; even putting the individual at risk for another fall. With age the risk for breaking or fracturing a bone increases and that risk is higher among women than in men. The good news is that most falls can be prevented with inclusive, informative and credible education, physical activity, medication management and environment modifications. Let’s begin fall with fewer falls!
Have a happy and fall free FALL!
Aging in Place Case Manager, Green & Healthy Initiative