Why Falling IS Life Changing After 50

The Hard Facts and What They Mean

Why is falling life changing after 50?

Simply put: “We don’t bounce anymore”!

Over thirty three percent of older adults (over 65) will fall this year and every year.
Between the ages of 65 and 68 your Mom (or Dad) has an 80% probability of falling!

So if your Mom (or Dad) is 65 and one of 100 in a typical sample, then 33 of those people will fall this year. This leaves 67 who have not fallen.
Let’s assume your Mom is one of the 67 who did not fall.
But next year when your Mom is 66, one third (22) of her fall free group of 67 will fall.
That leaves 44 (lets include your Mom) from the original sample who after two years have not fallen.
In the third year when your Mom is 67 one third (or 15) of her remaining group of 45 will have a fall, leaving 30 out of the original 100 who have not fallen.
In the fourth year as she turns 68 another thirty three percent (10) of her group of 30 will have a fall, leaving only 20 from the original sample of 100 who have not had a life changing fall since turning 65.

In summary:
Between the ages of 65 and 68 your Mom (or Dad) has an 80% probability of falling!

Now I do not know how statistically pure that deduction is. But I am confident that regardless of how you do the math, the bottom line will always read: It is probable your Mom or Dad will have a life changing fall. The following statistics underscore why falls are life changing. If your spouse or parent falls it will change your life too!

•Among older adults falls are the leading cause of injury death.
•Falls are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
•Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. In 2000 TBI accounted for 46% of fatal falls among older adults.
•Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls.
•Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again
•About half (53%) of the older adults who are discharged for fall-related hip fractures will experience another fall within six months.
•Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions. 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living. 25% die within a year.
• Up to 40% of people who have a stroke have a serious fall within the next year.
•Many falls do not result in injuries, yet a large percentage of non-injured fallers (47%) cannot get up without assistance.

Taking Care of Your Parents

Taking care of your parents is not only a gift to them but also to you.
From the ages of 65, 66, 67 to 68 there is an 80% chance one of your parents will have a life changing fall. The older they get the greater is the likelihood of falling. If they fall, it will change your life too.
As they lose their independency, they will need more from you.
This is a classic situation of “a stitch in time saves nine.” If you have grab bars installed in their bathroom(s) and friction tread tape put on the floor of their tub. If you improve the lighting in their home including dawn to dusk and motion detector nightlights, and if you clear their pathways of anything they might trip over like throw rugs and stacks of old magazines. Then you will be increasing their chances of NOT falling. So that’s a very inexpensive gift you can give to them that will also pay you back many times over.
Now there is another area where you can help and that is to be sure they are getting exercise. This needs to be aerobic in the form of walking, tread-milling, elliptical use and the like. And there also needs to be flexibility and balance practice in the form of yoga or tai chi.
If you do these things then you will have significantly improved the probability of your parents continuing to enjoy their home, aging in place.