When you’re a young person and you fall, usually it’s no big deal. You might have a few bruises or cuts, even a broken bone, but you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and go on with life.
When you’re an older person and take a spill, it could literally be a death sentence.
Why is Falling Such a Big Deal for the Elderly?
Falling is no simple or small matter. A hard fall often becomes the beginning of the end for the elderly. Many elders, about 50%, do not go home again after being hospitalized for a fall.
Let’s look a little closer at what happens when the elderly fall. Here are some statistics that might surprise you…
- Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around or live independently, and increase the risk of early death!
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. The most common fractures are spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
- Many people who fall, even if they escape injury, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling…a vicious cycle!
- Men are more likely than women to die from a fall.
- Older whites are 2.4 times more likely to die from falls as their black counterparts.
- People age 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely than those age 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
The bottom line is this: Stay on your feet and live longer! Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we delve more deeply into this including balance issues in the elderly and ways to prevent falls.
If you are noticing anything unusual with your feet or are experiencing ankle or heel problems, Sarasota or Bradenton is the place to be! Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, or Dr. Goecker for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.
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