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Deaths From Falling Among Seniors Increasing In Arizona

Falling is a common occurrence among older adults. It’s also on rise nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

A bad can fall can lead to death, like in the case of HR McMaster Senior, the father of President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor.

Eight hours after 84-year-old McMaster fell and hit his head at retirement community in Philadelphia, he died. A nurse was charged in his death after authorities said she failed to give him a series of neurological exams after his fall. The CDC reports that death from older adult falls is on the rise — from about 18,000 in 2007 to almost 30,000 in 2016.

Fall deaths in Arizona are also up. 

"In 2007 Arizona had 637 fall deaths and that rose to 983 in 2016," said Elizabeth Burns, a health scientist with the CDC.

Burns said there are more than a million older adults living in Arizona and in 2016, 28 percent of them reported falling at least once.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.