Recognizing National Safety Month
June is National Safety Month, and we are proud of the pivotal role physical therapy plays in improving older Americans’ safety by reducing their risk of falls. Falls are the number one cause of injury for older Americans, and physical therapy can help restore their confidence and stability.
Unfortunately, falls among older Americans are all too common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four elderly Americans fall each year. Of those, 2.8 million will go to the emergency room, 800,000 must be hospitalized, and 27,000 will die annually. As America’s population ages, this risk is expected to rise.
Not only do falls pose a great health risk to America’s elderly population, they are also very costly. In 2015 alone, an estimated $50 billion was spent on medical expenditures related to falls–$30 billion of which was paid by Medicare and American taxpayers.
Through physical therapy, we can improve the safety of our seniors. By utilizing patient-specific exercise regimens and regular physical activity, patients can build strength and balance allowing them to be independent and decrease their risk of falling. A recent study showed that training with a healthcare professional lowers the risk of falling by 31%.
There are simple solutions that reduce the risk of falling. With the help of physical therapists, we can work toward solving this deadly epidemic.