Statistics show that bathrooms are the most dangerous room in the house with 20,000 North Americans dying from falls in the bathroom every year. 25% of seniors who fall sustain a major injury such as a fracture or sprain.
40% of nursing home admissions are as a result of falls by an older person.
300,000 Americans are Hospitalized with broken hips each year. 90% of hip fractures are due to falls. Most are seniors. 20% will DIE within ONE YEAR of breaking their hip.
If you have a heart condition and break a hip, 65% die within 30 days and 92% within a year. Being male, or having other medical conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, arthritis, respiratory disease, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer or Parkinsons, increased mortality at both the 30 day post-injury and one-year post-injury rates.
In the vast majority of cases, a hip fracture is a fragility fracture due to a fall or minor trauma in someone with weakened osteoporotic bone.
According to Osteoporosis Canada, 2 million Canadians suffer from the disease, which strikes one in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50. As many as 27,000 Canadians will break a hip a year.
Nearly 25 per cent of Canadians who break their hip die within five years of being diagnosed, according to a study published online in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
George Ioannidis, the author of a study of hip fractures in the Canadian Medical Journal says, “Canadians need to understand that getting a fracture is no longer a non-serious medical condition, and instead, can be a likely indicator of death.”
People with hip fractures are part of two categories: Frail elderly people with multiple health issues who die soon after the fracture and younger, healthier people who initial recover, but later die as a result of factors linked to the fracture.
Fractures can lead to reduced strength and mobility, institutionalization, loss of independence, pneumonia, chronic pain, change in posture and activity levels, and fear of falling. In fact, a previous fall increases the risk for another fall by three times. A fall can put the person in to a downward spiral that negatively affects their quality of life and overall heath.
Prevention of fractures can include regular bone scans, vitamin D and calcium supplements to prevent bone loss, performing a home safety check, checking your vision, and evaluate your medications for side effects such as dizziness.