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Falls: A Big Concern for Elderly Patients

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Falls are a big concern for our elderly population:

Among older adults age 65 or older, falls are the leading cause of injury or death. (American Trauma Society)
1 out of 3 adults age 65 and older experience a fall each year. (CDC)
In 2010 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries in elderly adults were treated in emergency departments with 662,000 hospitalizations reported. (CDC)
With this related medical cost was estimated at 30 billion dollars.
Common injuries sustained with elderly falls:
Minor to complex lacerations with risk of infections.
Broken bones (i.e., hip or pelvis fracture, spinal fracture, arms or shoulders) which may require surgery, hospitalization and extended rehab.
Head Trauma (traumatic brain injury) in 2000 TBI accounted for 46% of fatal falls among older adults. (CDC)

Prevention Tips:
Regular exercise focused on strength and balance ,
HealthPlex to start offering Tai Chi (12 week course starting in 2014) – a Chinese martial art practiced for both defense training and health benefits, such as stress management , relaxation, coordination.
Review all medications including supplements with primary physician for side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness.
Have a vision exam at least once a year
Review home and environment safety:
rugs- nonskid or taped
grab bars in showers and bathrooms
handrails for stairs
proper lighting
floor space free of clutter and trip hazards

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/index.html

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