Data from 2002-2009 has revealed that the most serious risk to Camden, New Jersey, residents may be accidentally falling, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Within this period, there were more than 17,000 falls that led to trips to the hospital.
This is a significant number for a city with a population of 79,000 and makes falls the leading cause of injury-related hospital visits for the area. Health officials from hospitals are now trying to use the information to better help patients protect against future falls, so that their rate of readmission is reduced.
"It's not only identifying risk factors for [people who have fallen]," Kathleen Devine, Cooper University Hospital's senior director for emergency and trauma services, told the news source. "It's actually connecting them to resources in the community."
Falling at home and being unable to request assistance can be another problem. Families may want to consider installing an elderly alert system in the residence of older parents, because this device can enable users to instantly send a personal emergency response message in the case of an injury.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in three Americans over the age of 65 fall every year.