Number of the Day: $1 billion

September 17, 2012 | Number of The Day

More than $1 billion is spent annually in New Jersey’s emergency rooms to treat injuries that result from falls by senior citizens, according to the Division of Aging Services at the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

Indeed, a senior citizen is treated for a fall in the emergency room every eight minutes. What’s more, the fall-related inpatient hospital stays average $65,000, says Kathleen Mason, director of the Division.

Falls do not just lead to financial loss but can also lead to depression, loss of mobility and loss of independence.

The cause of falls, which Mason said are often preventable, are varied but include lack of strength, the use of four or more medications, unsafe home conditions and chronic health problems.