National Fall Prevention Awareness Day: Falling Among Elderly is Common and Sometimes Can be Prevented
Frank J. Dito, Jr.
September 23rd is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Falling down is the leading cause of death for Americans age 65 or older. In fact, according to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in every three senior adults fall each year. While this statistic does not let us know the percent of those who fall that can injured it just allow us to understand that falling is a common thing for elderly adults but another statistic reveals that the chance of injury is common considering that 70% of accidental deaths within the elderly population account are because of falls.
Often times a fall that would cause minimal injury to a middle aged adult can be devastating and possibly life threatening for an elderly person who falls. So what can be done to help prevent falling related accidents in the elderly? While falling can not be completely prevented there are some things that can be done to help either yourself or an elderly person in your life:
- Improve your body balance with exercise
- Increase home accessibility and safety
- Watch out for medication side effects that cause dizziness or drowsiness
- Have your vision checked regularly
- Have your hearing checked regularly (some hearing problems can cause dizziness and equilibrium to be off)
Following these steps will reduce the chance of falling and if a fall does occur it will reduce the chances of serious injury but there are still some fall related injury occurrences that may not be able to be prevented by the elderly person alone. Some things that can cause an elderly person to fall also include:
- An uneven sidewalk
- Black ice
- Slippery areas at a store or restaurant
- Broken steps
- Lack of care at a nursing home
- Elderly abuse at a nursing home
These things and many other things that can cause trip and fall accidents and slip and fall accidents causing an elderly person to get injured. If you are an elderly person who was injured from falling you may have injuries that have affected your hip, back, neck, head, leg, arm or any other area of your body. It is important to get the proper medical attention as promptly as possible.
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