Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans.
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Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. In the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 falls each year, and two-thirds of those who fall do so again within six months.
Falling, regardless of injury, also impacts a person’s quality of life. A growing number of older adults report that fear of falling causes them to limit their activities and social engagements. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• One-fourth of Americans 65 and older falls each year.
• Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
• Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal injury-related hospital admissions among older adults.
• Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including more than 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
• Fall injuries are among the 20 most expensive medical conditions.3
• The average hospital cost for a fall injury is over $30,000
• In 2013, the total cost of fall injuries was $34 billion.
• The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
Despite these daunting statistics, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments and home modifications the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.
Through our Safe@Home program, Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun provides home assessments and home safety modifications for seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities. The services are free for income-qualified* households, and offered for a modest fee for all others.
• Grab bars
• Wooden or metal wheelchair ramps
• Low-rise, long run exterior stairs
• Hi-lo bathtub bar
• Toilet seat riser/rails
• Slip-free bath mat
• Hand-held shower head
• Carbon monoxide/smoke alarms
• LED night light
• Removal of trip hazards
*To qualify for free services the household income must be below 50% of the median income for Maricopa County.
*All materials provided are given to the client and will NOT be removed by Rebuilding Together.
All work is completed by volunteers and no warranty of services is provided.
All original materials (shower heads, toilet seats) are left with the homeowner.