To someone in their 20s falling hardly sounds like a laughable medical phenomenon. But each year millions of older adults fall with the average estimating one out of four persons over 65 falling each year. Some of those falls have catastrophic outcomes, while others have life-changing outcomes. Studies show the odds of falling doubles if you have fallen once in the past 12 months. Also, deaths from falling have increased 30 percent in the United States over the past nine years, partly because the older we live the more devastating it can be when someone elderly falls.
The latest figures from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are devastating enough. Three million people a year are treated in emergency rooms due to injuries sustained while falling. Over 800,000 each year are hospitalized due to a fall with the most common injuries sustained being the head or the hip. More than 300,000 hospitalizations each year involve older persons with hip injuries.
The CDC slices the data sideways, as well. Elderly people falling sideways cause more than 95 percent of the hip fractures in the country. The most common cause of head trauma injuries is due to a fall. And five years ago, in 2015, the country’s total cost for falls for medical treatment and aftercare reached $50 billion.
Are you convinced yet that falls are a very serious medical condition? If so, the CDC also notes that elderly persons who have fallen once or twice frequently develop a fear of falling. This throws another layer of problems because those who are afraid of falling often stay at home and reduce their interactions with others. A fear of falling can leave people isolated or stranded. Those in pain also tend to isolate themselves. Clinical care and restorative pain management are available in San Diego at the Pacific Medical Care clinic. (Phone number: 619-333-8114.)
High Risk For Falling
- Weak skeletal or muscle strength of the lower body.
- A vitamin D deficiency that could be a sign of weaker bones
- Difficulty with balance
- A long list of environmental factors from slippery waxed floors to medical conditions (such as deafness) that include a loss of balance
- Various medications, including pain and muscle relaxing medicines that can make walking more precarious
- Hazards such as thresholds of doors or throw rugs that slip or trip people who don’t lift their feet high enough
- Vision difficulties
- Hearing difficulties
- Foot or leg or hip problems
What To Do
Falls can cause broken bones, dislocated joints, skin abrasions, head trauma, and death. The best defense – along with walking aids, properly fitting, and soled shoes – is to prepare the common environment to remove any undue hazards.
Try these remedies that could prevent falls from occurring
- Proper lighting
- Put non-slip rugs on floors and stairs
- Install banisters and handles steady persons in the bathroom
- Talk to your doctor about customized measures taken for you or your loved ones
- Lose weight if you can
- Allow more time to get places so you don’t have to rush
- See an eye doctor for proper prescriptions on your glasses
- Do physical exercises or physical therapy for strength or to adapt to functional problems due to a medical condition
Are you hurt from a fall? Top pain management doctors San Diego at Pacific Medical Care (618-333-8114) are ready to help you on your road to recovery. Call for an appointment now.