Bill Seeks to Reduce Senior Falling Accidents

Bill Seeks to Reduce Senior Falling Accidents

Washington

A proposed federal measure seeks to bring more awareness to the dangers of seniors falling. The Keeping Seniors Safe From Falls Act of 2004 – -which was approved by the Senate late last year and is awaiting approval by the House – would, among other things, authorize a three-year government national educational campaign and grants for fall-prevention programs.

Among the findings reported by Congress in the bill:

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Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among people over 65.

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In 2000, falls among the elderly accounted for 10,200 deaths and 1.6 million emergency department visits.

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60 percent of fall-related deaths occur among persons 75 and older.

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25 percent of elderly persons who sustain a hip fracture die within one year.

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Hospital admissions for hip fractures among the elderly increased from 231,000 admissions in 1988 to 332,000 in 1999.

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Annually, more than 64,000 individuals who are more than 65 years of age sustain a traumatic brain injury as a result of a fall.

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The estimated total cost for non-fatal traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations for falls for those 65 or older is more than $3.25 billion.

For more about senior falls, see “Shelly Sez” on page 56.

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