In 2016, about 15.9 million Americans provided 18.1 million hours of unpaid care to friends and family with Alzheimer's and related dementia. Based on CDC estimates, that amount of unpaid care is valued at $223.1 billion.
In addition, direct healthcare expenses for providing Alzheimer’s patients with long-term and hospice care cost $236 billion in 2016 alone. The disease affects 5.4 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the country.
Bones can become thinner and more brittle in old age, especially in women, sometimes resulting in the fragile bone condition called osteoporosis. Thinning bones and decreasing bone mass can put you at risk for falls that can easily result in broken bones. Be sure to talk with your physician about what you can do to prevent osteoporosis and falls.
Your Brain and Nervous System
Getting older can cause changes in your reflexes and even your senses. While dementia is not a normal consequence of old age, it is common for people to experience some slight forgetfulness as they get older. Cells in the brain and nerves can be damaged by the formation of plaques and tangles, abnormalities that could eventually lead to dementia.
These shocking statistics highlight the importance of preventing falls by taking deliberate precautions. Age related losses in muscle strength, flexibility, or balance reactions can be addressed through balance, strength assessments, or rehabilitation therapy.
When an elderly person falls, their hospital stays are almost twice longer than those of elderly patients who are admitted for any other reason.
The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than men.
Annually, falls are reported by one-third of all people over the age of 65.
Two-thirds of those who fall will do so again within six months.
Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older.
Approximately 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls each year.
More than half of all fatal falls involve people 75 or over.
Among people aged 65 to 69, one out of every 200 falls results in a hip fracture. That number increases to one out of every 10 for those aged 85 and older.
One-fourth of seniors who fracture a hip from a fall will die within six months of the injury.
The most profound effect of falling is the loss of functioning associated with independent living.