Dec 4, 2012

Older Adults and Falls

"Each year more than one-third of Americans older than 65 experience a fall and nearly two million end up in the emergency room for injuries due to those falls." Dr. Richard Holm

Falls in older adults can cause fractured hips and arms and head injuries.  The cost to U.S. society is billions of dollars a year, with more than 300,000 hip fractures needing major surgery every year.  Slower reflexes, poorer vision, less muscle strength, balance problems, generalized illness and Parkinson's Disease all increase the risk of falling.  Excess use of alcohol is another cause of falls.  Falling was one of the reasons that required Dwane moving into assisted living.  He had three falls and one head injury in the weeks before moving him into assisted living.  This was in spite of my efforts to make our environment safe, with no loose rugs, plenty of night lights, no clutter on the floors, no exposed cords in traffic patterns.  We need to make our homes as safe as we can; and that may still not be enough to prevent someone with Lewy Bodies Dementia (which has a significant Parkinson's aspect) from falling. 

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