Serious Things Our Seniors Need to Know About Falling

By Kerry Knight

X-ray image of my own hip, with top of femur b...
X-ray image of my own hip, with top of femur broken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a frightening reality that every senior needs to be aware of because it can easily happen to anyone over age 65. More importantly, there's an easy way to prevent this from happening. If you're 65 or older, this information is of vital importance to you.  It’s not necessarily a pretty picture, but a subject that needs to be examined and taken to heart.

Among older adults, falling is the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries.  A serious look at the issue of falling could very well save your life, or at least extend the quality of your life. Consider the following:


Each year, one in three adults, age 65 or older, falls.  The resulting injury resulting from that fall can be moderate to severe.  Injuries range from bruises; cuts; and fractures of the hip, forearm, spine, neck, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, hand or even more serious results such as head trauma.  Any of these can increase the risk of early death.  In 2010, 21,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
Courtesy of spie.org

In 2010, 2.3 million non-fatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in the emergency rooms and more than 662,000 of the patients were hospitalized.  Reports from that same year estimated that direct medical costs from falls were $30 billion.

Men are more likely than women to die from a fall.  The fall rate is 40% higher for men than women. People age 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely than those age 65-74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.

In 2000, 46% of fatal falls among older adults were due to traumatic brain injuries.

Many people who fall, even if they're not seriously injured, subsequently develop a fear of falling.  This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which could reduce their range of mobility and create loss of physical fitness, thus again increasing their actual risk of falling.

To make matters worse, it's easy to get sick when you're in the hospital. I've heard countless stories where people were admitted to the hospital for a broken bone, only to die from an infection they contracted in the hospital!

Fortunately, there are certain guidelines seniors can follow to reduce the dangers of falling:
Residents of the Century Village Retirement Co...
Residents of the Century Village Retirement
Community Gather Around Pool for Daily
Exercise Session. (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)
  • Have your doctor review your medications and over-the-counter drugs.  Especially look for side effects that could cause dizziness or loss of balance.
  • Develop a regular exercise program, especially one designed to make your legs stronger.
  • Have your eyes checked regularly by a professional.
  • Eat balanced meals and take supplements with your medical provider's supervision.
  • Make your home safer.

This last step is something that seniors can do for themselves.  The most common location for falls in the home is the bathroom.  The reasons are many.  

Because the room is small and the walls are closer, it creates the illusion of being safer.  However, the problem is there are many obstructions in the bathroom, such as the sink, the toilet, door knobs, rugs, shower curtains and especially the bathtub or shower. 

The floor in the bathroom can become slippery, especially if it’s tiled.  Stepping into or out of the tub is where most falls occur.  Older adults often assume they have the same flexibility they once had and end up missing the mark. 

Poor eyesight may also cause a misstep.  A brief loss of balance can be fatal … literally.  The surfaces in the bathroom are normally “rock hard.”  Porcelain and cast iron are the most commonly used, and they don’t give upon contact.

The senior Walk-In Tub is a tremendous benefit for seniors for two major reasons:
  • It allows them to be independent in bathing themselves.
  • It provides many safety features to keep them from falling.

The seat and floor of the Walk-In Tub are slip-resistant.  There is a handy grab bar inside the tub and other grab bars that can be placed around the tub.  There is a water-tight door, with a very low step-in threshold.  The senior can close the door, lock it, and sit down while bathing.  There is a hand-held shower sprayer for rinsing and easy-to-reach controls.  Other options could include air jetted hydrotherapy for treating many medical conditions. There’s also a water jetted whirlpool capable of massaging away aches, pains, and soothing tired muscles.  The inline heater allows one to stay in the tub without the water getting cold.

Tub King Walk In tub Testimonial

Falls are serious, but there are steps seniors can take to make them far less likely.  Create a list of things to make your environment a safer place, and you’ll live a longer and more independent life. Especially in the bathroom, investing in a Walk-In tub can be a real life saver.

In this article, I discussed several serious statistics about seniors falling and how these mishaps adversely affect one in three seniors over age 65 each year. I provided a list of preventative measures, which include installing a Walk-in Tub. I also discussed the various safety features and benefits seniors derive from having Walk-in Tub. I also talked about the advantages of a Walk-in Tub, including the various safety features and benefits that seniors benefit from having a Walk-in Tub.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.  We hope to be helping you in the near future.

Until next time. 

Intro to Walk In Tub Buyers Guide


Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to alan@tubking.com.

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