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Falls are a Big Deal for the Elderly

While it may seem like no big deal for a young person to slip and fall, falls and their resulting injuries can prove fatal for an elderly person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an elderly person dies from a fall every 20 minutes in the United States.

There are a number of factors that make falls more dangerous for people over age 65. Bone density decreases with age, and weaker bones mean falls can result in fractures and broken bones. The elderly also have to deal with side effects from medications, poor vision and reduced mobility—all of which increase the risk for falls. People are also at risk for traumatic brain injury as a result of a fall. Hospital stays and recovery tend to take longer for the elderly, and according to a study published at the University of Rochester Medical Center, only 22% of fall victims age 70+ were able to regain independent living status after being discharged from a fall-related hospitalization.

Fortunately many steps can be taken to fall proof your loved one’s home. Adding no-slip mats and grab bars in the shower, keeping the floor clear of clutter, and using good lighting can help prevent falls around the house. Taking bone-building supplements and exercising can strengthen bones and improve mobility.

Falls for the elderly are a serious issue, and improving awareness of the risks and preventative steps can go a long way to preserving quality of life for many older Americans.

 

 

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