Last week President Bush signed into law the Safety of Seniors Act, a bill dedicated to preventing injuries of the elderly inside the home. According to the CDC, one in every three Americans over 65 will suffer a fall their home, and nearly a third of those will require medical treatment. In addition, 80% of elderly Americans who suffer a serious fall will suffer an additional fall within a year.
The bipartisan legislation seeks to develop educational strategies to increase the awareness of falls, support research to identify populations at risk for falling, and encourage projects that promote fall prevention. In California, health officials say they will make fall prevention a major priority starting this summer.
According to the CDC, almost $20 billion dollars is annually on medical costs related to elderly falls, most of which is paid for the Medicare and Medicaid. Because of the aging baby boomers, that figure is expected to rise to $43 billion by the year 2020.