Winter weather risk of falls could be deadly
Winter weather increases the risk of falling, which could result in serious injury that limits life expectancy and costs billions of dollars in health care.
One-quarter of older adults who suffer a hip fracture from a fall will die within six months of the injury according to local physical therapist Michael Gibson of Comprehensive rehab. Those who survive have a 10 to 15% reduction in their life expectancy.
Health care costs for treating falls among older adults are projected to be $43 billion by 2020.
In a March 2013 newsletter, Gibson says prevention is key and it starts with a simple and common-sense approach focused on prevention.
In other words, don’t push yourself into a risky situation.
“Mitigating your fall risk can be what keeps you out of a lengthy hospital stay and rehabilitation process. Take your time and calculate a safe path to walk through if you must travel in these conditions,” Gibson said. “Above all else, trust your instinct.”