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Falls can devastate older Americans

Elderly individuals face several hazards on a regular basis. One of the biggest risks that they face is falling. Many people don't think about how dangerous a fall can be for an elderly person because of how minor falls from low heights are for others. Even falls from a standing or sitting position to the ground can devastate an older person.

One of the issues that can occur when an elderly person falls is a brain injury. Sadly, these can often be life-ending injuries for Americans who are older. Even when they aren't life ending, they might be life-altering.

Elderly people are at an increased risk of falling because of several factors. They often have declining cognitive abilities, might have troubles with balance, could take medications that impact their ability to walk and may suffer from dizziness. When the senior falls, there is a good chance that they won't be able to catch themselves without suffering an injury.

When seniors fall, injuries they suffer can range from a brain injury or a broken bone to a bruise. All of these injuries can have a negative impact on victims' lives. Fall injuries can lead to hospitalizations, the need for ongoing medical care and prolonged therapy.

There is also a chance that a senior who falls will fall again within 90 days. This second fall and any other subsequent falls could result in injuries that are even more serious than the initial fall.

People who care for seniors, including those who are working in nursing homes and home health care, need to be vigilant about keeping fall hazards to a minimum. Preventing a fall is much easier than treating one.

Source: AP News, "Falls are taking a huge and rising toll on elderly brains," Mike Stobbe, accessed Feb. 09, 2018

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