Senator McConnell Highlights Importance of Fall Prevention Efforts

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently suffered a fall that resulted in a concussion, a hospital stay, and discharge to an inpatient rehabilitation facility for rehab. We wish Senator McConnell a speedy and successful recovery.

We also recognize Senator McConnell’s fall is, regrettably, not an isolated accident. Instead, physical and occupational therapists have been sounding the alarm about the rising rates of falls among older Americans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 older Americans experiences falls yearly, totaling around 30 million incidents annually. Left unaddressed, seniors’ falls result in more than 800,000 emergency department visits, with one in five resulting in serious injury. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in this age group. The burden of this epidemic is also immense and growing, with the projected cost of treating accidental falls totaling a massive $101 billion by 2030. 

Physical and occupational therapists nationwide have been taking steps to stem the falls epidemic through risk screening to identify and mitigate risks to seniors. Studies show that older citizens who undergo exercise intervention from a trained healthcare professional have a lower risk of a fall by 31%. 

Through physical therapy, seniors can continue to lead healthy and independent daily lives. Physical therapists are also trained to conduct patient home assessments to evaluate and identify potential fall hazards.

The risk of falls and related injury is an unfortunate fact of getting older, but with proactive physical therapy treatment, harmful falls are preventable. In short, physical therapy helps improve older Americans’ balance and strength and allows them maintain independence safely and with confidence.

To learn more about preventative treatment for seniors, CLICK HERE.