One of the biggest dangers to people aged 65 and older isn’t cancer or other type of life-threatening disease. It’s falling. According to the CDC, falls are the top cause of “injury-related death” for Americans older than 65, and it appears to be increasing. In addition to leading to death, falls can cause serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions. Three million elderly are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. Chief among them are hip-related injuries, of which 95 percent are caused by falls.
If you or someone you love is 65 or older, it’s important to understand the top causes of falls and how to prevent them. Let’s take a closer look.
There are a number of factors that contribute to an elderly person falling. These can include (but aren’t limited to):
Chronic conditions can also play a major role, particularly heart disease, low blood pressure, and even dementia, which can cause dizziness.
Unfortunately, many of the conditions that cause falls are somewhat unavoidable. However, there are a number of things a patient and his/her family can do to reduce the likelihood of these conditions causing a fall. These include (but aren’t limited to):
Depending on the age of the patient, it may also be a good idea to move to a single-floor occupancy, where stairs won’t pose any risks.
In addition to making modifications to the home, it’s essential that patients work every day to stay as healthy and fit as possible. This includes doing stretches every day, but it can also mean going for daily walks or even joining group fitness classes designed for the aged.
Lastly, it’s essential to talk to a patient’s doctor about any individual risks based on lifestyle, medicines, etc. Getting the patient’s vision checked regularly can also help ensure they have the right prescription on their glasses or contacts, potentially limiting the risk of falling due to a vision issue.
Schedule an appointment with us to receive a full diagnosis and personalized recommendations for safe, fall-free living.
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