Falls are considered the leading cause of death from injury among people that are 65 or older. Although falling could not seem as a very serious problem, and sometimes it only results in minor injuries, it is estimated that a 10% of falls result in major injuries, like hip fractures or cranial damage. This is a very serious problem for seniors, so in this article we will show the most common fall-related injuries for seniors and some ways to prevent them.
Seniors are more susceptible to fractures due to the loss of bone density, causing them to lose the ability of resisting cracks. Tibia, ankle, hip and femur fractures are the most frequent.
In fact, hip fractures are one of the most common fall-related injuries for seniors, as they are the most frequent cause of hospitalization caused by a fall among the elders. Even though it is pretty common, hip fractures represent a very serious injury that can cause more complications in the future and it is usually very expensive to treat. Patients with hip fractures will usually have to deal with a lot of pain and mobility problems. These fractures also have a high mortality rate as it is estimated that one in 5 dies within a year of the injury.
Something important to consider is that a 60% of the falls happen at home, due to slippery surfaces or tripping obstacles, so it is important to be very careful in places like the bathroom, as it is very easy to fall in the shower or slipping with a mat. Other ways to prevent fractures are getting enough vitamin D and calcium, exercising to improve balance and strengthen bones, and using a walking aid if it is necessary. Having good insurance is another consideration. Find information and quotes for Medicare Advantage 2019 at the following link: https://www.medicareadvantage2019.org/
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
51% of Traumatic Brain Injury patients at the emergency department at hospitals are there because of a fall, and a quarter of these visits result in inpatient admission. It has been proven that most of seniors with Traumatic Brain Injury (73%) at hospitals had previous conditions. These conditions can increase the chance of falling.
Patients with fall related TBI present comorbid conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and depression. This is important because the risk of falling can increase if the person has certain conditions. For example, the risk of fall in older adults with diabetes mellitus is 1.97 if compared with the ones that don’t have the disease.
Having TBI can be a challenge, especially for seniors, because they are more likely to have other health issues, making their recovery and rehabilitation more difficult.
When people fall, no matter if it is a senior or someone younger, they are likely to land on their knees. However, injuries in this part of our bodies can be worse as we age due to our weaker bones. There are different types of knee injuries that can result from a fall and all of them should be properly treated, as they are likely to worsen with time.
First, we have fractures, which unfortunately are very serious and in most cases require surgery. Fractures are very painful and the person is usually unable to move until he or she is has healed. Then we have sprains, which occur when the ligaments of the knee are stretched beyond their capabilities. They are the result of a very sudden movement and they usually come with pain, bruising and stiffness.
Lastly, we have tears, which happen when the joint of the knee tears because of a sudden turn or twist of the knee. Tears can heal with physical therapy and in some cases they could require surgery.
In any of the cases below, it is important to seek professional help and don’t ignore the problem, as it could become more serious with time.