When seniors visit the doctor, one of the mandatory questions they're asked is whether they've fallen recently. Tumbles which would be trivial at younger ages are anything but that as we get older. In addition to possible injuries from the fall itself, the fact that an older person has fallen could indicate any number of possibly more serious physical problems.
Guidelines from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) provide solid, research-backed advice for how to treat falls and, perhaps of greater importance, how to avoid them in the first place. The preventive steps are relatively easy for seniors, their families, and their physicians to put into place. Let's repeat the key words here—preventive and easy, for seniors and their families.
One out of three people age 65 and older fall each year, and the odds rise to 70 percent and even higher for the oldest age groups, according to research findings distributed by the AGS. Roughly an eighth of all falls lead to serious injuries, with a total price tag of nearly $20 billion in medical bills and an average hospital bill of $17,500 for seniors who require hospitalization.
Not included in these numbers are the ways falls can cause seniors to change their lifestyle, reduce trips outside the home, and become less independent and socially active. According to Sharon A. Brangman, former AGS President, seniors often compound the impact of a fall by not disclosing it to family members or their doctors because they fear losing independence. Ironically, she says, such secrecy can prevent them from receiving relatively simple treatments and preventive measures, and thus may hasten the loss of independence.
The AGS guidelines, revised two years ago, were the profession's first updates since 2001. The earlier guidelines tended to be supported by common geriatric treatments and common sense. The newer ones benefit from extensive research that did not exist a decade ago.
Read in detail :
Preventing Falls in Older Age Is Essential - The Best Life (usnews.com)
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