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.