U.S. Senate Bipartisan Report: Falls Kill an American Senior Every 19 minutes

Lest we think that the U.S. Senate is capable only of partisan wrangling, the bipartisan Senate Aging Committee has published a report on falls prevention in efforts to protect those 65 and over from injury and premature death. Every 11 seconds an older American is treated in an emergency room for a fall. Every 19 minutes a senior dies prematurely because of a fall — 31,000 per year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for Americans 65 and older.

A falls-related hospital stay costs an average of $30,000. Each year, Americans spend a total of $50 billion (that’s $153 per capita for every U.S. man, woman and child) in medical costs alone for seniors’ fall injuries. The majority of these costs are borne by Medicare and Medicaid. Other consequential costs of the falls that are not covered can be even more significant: lost income, pain and suffering, loss of hope, decreased quality of life, loss of companionship by family members, economic losses from failure to complete real estate transactions, etc.

Bone loss and osteoporosis are fundamental underlying contributors to the worst consequences of falls among seniors: bones fractured due to low bone strength and density. Osteoporotic fractures are responsible for more hospitalizations than heart attacks, strokes, and breast cancer combined.

The Chair of the Senate committee is well-known to political junkies: Senator Susan Collins, 67, of Maine. Collins is also Co-Chair of the Congressional Alzheimer’s Task Force.

At Safety Direct America we are continually amazed at how many seniors move into or redecorate homes where there has been no consideration of the wet slip resistance of the walking surfaces. Valid pendulum floor slip test results need to demonstrate suitability for the purpose of the floor (kitchen, shower, patio, etc.).

Public areas need to have demonstrably good wet slip resistance as well because of the higher traffic and lack of familiarity of many of the pedestrians with the risks. Creating a hazard and then posting signs to say there’s a hazard is not a sensible way of avoiding injuries, and it’s not good safety engineering. SparkleTuff™ transparent anti-slip floor and tub coating can remediate virtually any surface, indoors or outdoors, that is slippery when wet. 

Slip and fall accidents is truly an epidemic in America, and we’re here to help with floor slip resistance testing services (to avoid slippery floors being installed), and proven slippery floor and slippery tub solutions, such as abrasive anti-slip floor coatings and anti-slip tapes.

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