Safety for adults aged 65 and older has become a growing concern for fire and life safety organizations across the nation. This population is expected to rise over the next several years. Two of the high-risk death and injury areas related to this age group are fires and falls.
Adults over the age of 65 account for nearly a third of U.S. fire deaths and over 10% of fire related injuries. This population is at a greater risk due to slower reaction times related to vision and mobility limitations, as well as, medications that can cause drowsiness or disorientation. The leading cause of fire deaths for this age group is careless use of smoking materials. The leading cause of fire injuries for older adults are cooking accidents.
For information on how to be fire safe, click on the “Fire Safety for Older Adults” link in the sidebar to the left.
Falls are the leading cause of injury death among older adults. Nearly one-third of adults aged 65 and over experience a fall each year. Many of these falls result in hip fractures or head injuries requiring hospitalization. For those who survive, many spend at least a year in a long-term care facility and others never return to their homes. To reduce your risks, consider focusing on issues related to exercise, vision, medication management and home modification.
For more information on how to reduce your risk of falling, click on the “Preventing Falls” link in the sidebar to the left. Or for information on Staying Active for Independent Life (SAIL) click here.
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The health care industry is trying to get a handle on the increase in visits to the ER from falls. We will continue to see a steady rise in 911 fall calls as the baby boom generation retires. Expect a spike in 2017 based on data provided by the state. See below, the New York Times article on this epidemic that is affecting the nation.