Many older adults living in California and throughout the United States have certain risk factors that make them more likely to fall and injure themselves. Many older adults with mobility issues also live in nursing homes because they need extra help getting around. Yet, staffing issues make it hard for some nursing home residents to get the mobility assistance they need, and this heightens the chances of residents falling and hurting themselves.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls have the potential to cause serious injuries, especially when the person who falls is 65 or older. Falls have also become the leading cause of hip fractures in older adults, causing 95% of these serious injuries.
Risk factors that make older adults prone to falling
Research shows that an individual’s chances of breaking a hip in a fall increase with age. Studies also show that older women are more likely to break hips in falls than older men, with women experiencing about 75% of today’s hip fractures. This may be true for two reasons. First, women statistically fall more than men. Second, women, particularly older women, are more likely to have osteoporosis than men, which makes bones more likely to break in a fall.
Environmental factors that create risks for older adults
A lack of mobility assistance is a significant factor in an older adult’s fall risk. Yet, other variables also contribute to fall risks in nursing homes and elsewhere. Poor lighting, loose carpeting or wires, or cluttered stairways or hallways are among the many factors that increase the chance of an older adult falling and suffering a hip fracture.
A hip fracture involves a significant period of recovery. Many older adults who fall and break hips need considerably more assistance after falling than they did before.