This has serious implications for governments and businesses.
The USA Centers for Disease Control has reported that in 2010 alone, these falls among older adults accounted for roughly 3 million visits to the ER and almost $30 billion in direct medical costs. The CDC is anticipating this number to reach a whopping $67.7 billion by 2020.
Many of these falls occur due to environmental hazards both inside and outside the home, including poor lighting, buckled rugs and carpeting, cracks in the sidewalk or driveway and general clutter.
Designers of cities, residential housing, retail establishments need to rethink the age-friendliness of their creations; some American law firms advertise their services to win claims for fall victims.
Addendum: Here’s a really useful room-by-room guide to make your home age-friendly.