Falls can cost you more than just your health; they can also take a bite out of your piggy bank. While many people only consider the health concerns that come along with senior falls, they often overlook the monetary cost of falls that follow.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released research that looked at the “rapidly growing problems of senior falls.” According to this report, the estimated health care cost of falls for people over the age of 65 will reach nearly $60 billion by 2020. That number is expected to rise, if more is not done to help educate people about fall prevention at home.
A Breakdown of the Cost of Falls
The bulk of the cost of falls for seniors was related to injuries sustained and the medical expenses that followed. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that in 2015, the cost for falls “for Medicare alone totaled over $31 billion,” and that the “average hospital cost for a fall injury is over $30,000.”
Many seniors are treated in emergency rooms after a fall, and depending on the severity of the injuries can end up with extended hospital stays and/or rehabilitation services. Other expenses include in-home care, use of medical equipment and prescription drugs. These services may seem extreme, but the reality is that many seniors are not sent to the ER to be treated for minor scrapes and bruises; the CDC reports that “over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a broken hip or head injury.”
And the direct cost of falls, as listed above, doesn’t even take into account “for the long-term effects of these injuries such as disability, dependence on others, lost time from work and household duties, and reduced quality of life.” In fact, the CDC has found that “fall injuries are among the 20 most expensive medical conditions” in the U.S.
Fall Prevention For Seniors
The best way to help reduce the cost of falls for seniors, is to invest in comprehensive fall prevention at home. There are many different ways you can embrace fall prevention for seniors, including:
Staying Safe At Home
Once you’ve taken the necessary precautions for fall prevention at home, you should also consider investing in a safety net, like a medical alert device. Medical Guardian offers a wide range of products for different lifestyles at various price points, and while it cannot prevent falls from occurring at home, a medical alert device can reduce the cost of falls for you in the long run by ensuring that you get immediate attention after an accident.