Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

It can’t be said enough - seniors are a much higher risk for falls than younger people and the results of a senior fall can be devastating.  In fact, some people estimate that people over the age of 65 have a greater than 25% chance of falling.  And, to add insult to injury, if someone falls once, their chance of falling again doubles!

So, let’s look at some of the most common reasons why a senior might fall:

1). Medications

     Introducing a new medication to a senior can have unintended consequences including

    dizziness and a diminished sense of balance.

2). Vision Issues

     As we all know, our vision can change as we age.  The inability to see clearly can lead to

     tripping and impact our balance.

3). Decreased Strength

     Muscle loss equals less strength and weaker bones.  Even more reason to exercise and

    stay active.

4). Decreased Desire/Ability to Walk

     Health issues can sometimes have a negative effect on a senior’s ability to walk.  However,

     if at all possible, we should all walk as much as possible as it promotes strength, flexibility,

     and endurance.

5). Loss of Flexibility

     Many factors can contribute to loss of flexibility.  But beware that stiffness will increase the

     likelihood of a fall.

The serious effects of falling for seniors can be a game-changer.  Older adults who fall typically suffer from head injuries and hip fractures.  Regardless of the severity of their injury, seniors have trouble mounting a full recovery.  This can lead to an extended stay in the hospital, rehab unit, or assisted living community.  It can also lead to significant in-home care expenses.

Here are more sobering statistics about falling:

1). Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries

2). Three million seniors are treated every year in emergency departments for injuries resulting

      from a fall.

3). An overwhelming majority (95%) of hip fractures are the result of falls.

4). Total medical costs for falls was over $50 billion in 2015.

Falling is something that can happen to anyone at any age.  It’s important to do everything in your power to prevent the senior in your life from falling.

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