Falls are a main cause of morbidity and disability in the elderly.
More than one-third of persons 65 years of age or older fall each year, and in half of such cases the falls are recurrent. The risk doubles or triples in the presence of cognitive impairment or history of previous falls.
Is everyone equally at high risk for serious falls, though? The truth is that older Americans have a one-in-three chance of sustaining a serious fall in any given year. What’s more, fewer than half of these fall victims will report the fall to their primary care physician.
Considering falls are the primary cause of injury among older Americans, a failure to report is serious business, especially since small injuries can develop in to larger problems later for seniors. Cuts and hip fractures are very real possibilities, and those are often detected, or at least suspected.
Subtler joint damage or brain injuries can be the true lasting effects of a serious fall. Always report a serious fall to your primary care physician.
If you have an unsteady gait or you’re taking care of someone with special needs, then talk to your doctor at the Balance & Dizziness Center about preventive steps since about half of falls can be prevented!
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