Longevity vs Fall-Related Injuries: America’s Growing Paradox

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Electric scooters and power wheelchairs help boomers overcome mobility issues due to fall injuries.

The first wave of baby boomers has started to reach retirement age this year. Advancements in medicine and technology have helped us live longer, more fulfilled lives, but one area causing many older Americans difficulty is limited mobility due to fall related injuries.

Welcome to America’s longevity paradox.

Living a longer life can come with a higher risk of fall-related injuries. As children, we experienced first hand, the pain a fall would create. Luckily, we were able to bounce right back up and carry on our play. Unfortunately, we are not as resilient as we once were and studies have shown that more than one-third of adults 65 years and older fall each year. Fall-related injuries often result in life altering consequences, including the inability to live independently. Additionally, the most common cause for non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma is fall related. Furthermore, people age 75 years and older who fall are four to five times more likely to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.

One of the most common fall-related injuries is hip fractures, which among women make up an estimated 80%. Direct medical costs for fractures are usually costly, both financially and emotionally. Many times, the ability to conduct your activities of daily living in your own home becomes increasingly difficult.

Living with limited mobility has become a common daily struggle for many Americans as caregivers and family members often worry about the safety of their loved ones. Fortunately, several educational tools are now available. Caregivers and family members are becoming more educated about the ways to help reduce fall-related injuries.

Some General Tips to Avoid Fall Related Injuries:

  •      Always take medication as prescribed by your physician;
  •     Remove tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;
  •     Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors;
  •     Have grab bars installed next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;
  •     Install handrails on both sides of stairways;
  •     Improve lighting throughout the home;
  •     See a healthcare provider regularly for chronic conditions;
  •     Have your vision checked at least once a year;

Do not let limited mobility affect the quality of your life. Concerns about fall-related injuries should be handled by a Physician, an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, or a mobility specialist. There are many solutions to limited mobility. Often, your doctor may prescribe a mobility device, such as a power wheelchair or electric scooter, to help improve your ability to carry out your activities of daily living. Listen to your body and the people you trust and do not wait until it’s too late.

For more information on this article and fall related injuries, please go to http://www.thescooterstore.com or stop by The SCOOTER Store’s exhibit at the Iowa State Fair in the Varied Industry Building in August.

Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelber HK. Gait Variability and Fall Risk in Community-Living Older Adults: A one-year prospective study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001; 82(8): 1050-6

Hornbrook MC, Stevens VJ, Wingfield DJ, Hollis JF, Greenlick MR, Ory MG. Preventing Falls Among Community Dwelling Older Persons: Results from a randomized trial. The Gerontologist 1994: 34(1):16-23

Alexander BH, Rivara FP, Wolf ME. The Cost and Frequency of Hospitalization for Fall-Related Injuries in Older Adults. American Journal of Public Health 1992; 82(7):1020-3

Donald IP, Bulpitt CJ. The Prognosis of Falls in Elderly People Living at Home. Age and Aging 1999; 28:121-5

Stevens, JA, Olson S. Reducing Falls and Resulting Hip Fractures Among Older Women. In: CDC Recommendations Regarding Selected Conditions Affecting Women’s Health. MMWR 2000;49(RR-2):3-12

About The SCOOTER Store

The SCOOTER Store, the nations leading supplier of scooters and power wheelchairs, has helped over 3,500 Iowan’s regain their freedom and independence by providing power mobility for their treatment plan. With a customer satisfaction rate of 98% by Senior Approved Services and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Healthcare, Inc. (ACHC), we have become the nation’s trusted mobility solution. Call 800.723.4535 and find out why over 250,000 people agree.

*Article is not to be interpreted as a professional Medical opinion. You should always consult a physician.

Licensed in the State of Illinois

For More Information Contact:

Mark Leita

Director of Public Affairs

The SCOOTER Store

(830) 627-4717

Mary Sims

Distribution Manager

The SCOOTER Store in Urbandale, IA

515.270.0570

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