Falls are the leading reason for emergency room visits and hospital admissions among the elderly, and the primary cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Not only do falls pose a risk to a senior’s safety, but they also carry financial and quality of life consequences. In 2014, the financial toll of falls was $31 billion. As the population continues to age, that number is expected to increase to over $60 billion by 2020.
Fear of falling can lead seniors to withdraw from hobbies and social commitments in order to avoid a potential fall. However, withdrawal from the activities of life can actually result in an increased physical decline, social isolation, and depression. Someone who has previously suffered a fall may experience decreased mobility and confidence afterward, which will likewise limit their ability to participate in social activities and favorite hobbies.
To put the risks of falling into perspective:
- 1 in 4 Americans age 65+ falls each year
- Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall
- Every 19 minutes, a senior dies from fall-related injuries
- Falls account for over 800,000 hospital admissions and 27,000 deaths every year
- 2.8 million fall-related injuries are treated in emergency departments annually
- Two-thirds of seniors who fall will do so again within six months
- Among adults age 65-69, 1 in 200 falls results in a hip fracture (1 in 10 for adults over 85)
- After a fall, 47% of non-injured adults cannot get up again without assistance
Clearly, falls are a serious health and safety concern facing our elderly population. But what can we do to help decrease the rate of falls among seniors? Aside from evidence-based falls prevention programs, which are being implemented in many senior living communities nationwide, we can support seniors in building their strength and agility to decrease their risk of falling.
According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity can play a crucial role in falls prevention. Gentle exercise can reduce a senior’s risk for falls by improving strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Consider low-impact exercises that don’t strain joints or muscles, such as swimming, tai chi, and stationary cycling.
Stationary cycling is a perfect exercise for seniors because it provides a good cardiovascular and strength workout without the risk of falls or injury that upright bicycles have. Cycling is a safe, low-impact activity that’s easy on the joints, and a senior can enjoy the workout indoors in any season.
The FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro V9 is the best stationary exercise bike for seniors. Its ergonomic design provides customizable comfort for senior cyclers. The adjustable wide-surface desktop is perfect for reading the newspaper, writing letters, or even playing a game of cards. With eight resistance levels, seniors can find the perfect level of intensity for their workout. And 360-degree caster wheels make it easy to move the Descise Pro out of the way when they’re done.
To keep your aging parent safe from the risk of falling, explore the Deskcise Pro V9 stationary desk bike.