For seniors, falls are a significant health risk. They can lead to traumatic
injuries that not only require emergency care and
rehabilitation but can also permanently affect mobility. If you or an elderly loved one
are experiencing falls, talk to your doctor about things you can do to
reduce the risk. Making changes to the home and adjusting medications
that affect balance are just two ways to make falls less common in seniors.
Here is a look at some of the injuries that occur most often with falls.
Hip fractures are among the most common and most serious injuries that happen during
a fall. Many seniors who fracture a hip end up needing long-term hospitalization
and rehabilitation before returning home. Some are never able to return
to living independently after fracturing a hip, especially if they had
health problems before the fall. Hip fractures are one of the leading
causes of loss of independence and mobility among seniors, so preventing
them is critical. After a fall, if you suspect a hip fracture, get emergency
care right away before the injury becomes worse.
Ankles are prone to fracture during falls. Age-related bone loss and osteoarthritis
can increase the risk of an ankle fracture, because the bones may be brittle.
An ankle fracture can make mobility impossible, and seniors recovering
from this kind of injury will need help at home from a family member or
in-home care provider. Physical therapy will also be necessary.
Seniors who try to brace their falls with their arms may end up fracturing
them instead. As with other fractures, bone loss can play a significant
role in the overall risk of breaking an arm. The recovery period for a
broken arm can be long, and during recovery, special care may be needed.
Emergency care, orthopedic care, and rehabilitation are all crucial parts
of recovering from a fall, and they are all available at
Good Samaritan Hospital. For a referral to a specialist at our hospital in San Jose or more information
about our services, please call (888) 724-2362.