Casey releases report on senior falls prevention
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey released a report Wednesday affecting American seniors suffering the effects of a fall.
The annual report from the Senate Special Committee on Aging focuses on fall prevention. It found that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. In all, falls lead to more than 30,000 deaths per year, Casey said.
Injuries stemming from falls cost $50 billion per year, and is expected to double by 2030, according to Aging Committee Chairman Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
But Medicare reimbursement rates for certain injuries, such as bone density testing, have been cut by 70 percent since 2006.
The report offers recommendations to curb those costs, and ways seniors can remain independent after a fall.
“When you have that kind of a cost and that kind of an adverse impact, especially on seniors, we want to make sure we’re taking steps to prevent these falls in the first place,” Casey said.
Four witnesses testified before the committee, sharing their stories on the impact falls have had on their life or the lives of loved ones. Among the witnesses was Virginia Demby, 84, of Chester, Pa. She is a retired nurse who says an active lifestyle even in one’s golden years can prevent falls. Demby, who lives with low vision, is an advocate for older adults.
“If you take care of yourself, that’s empowerment,” Demby said.
You can read the full report online here.