Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh 2016 Spring/Summer Edition - page 8

Thanks to advances in medicine today, people
are living longer than ever before. While longevity is
considered a blessing for many older adults, it can also
render those frail or weak prone to injury. However,
patients and caregivers can be proactive by collaborating
with physicians on a care plan to prevent falls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, one out of three older adults age 65 or
older fall each year, but less than half discuss this
with their healthcare providers. Among older adults,
falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal
injuries for Pennsylvanians, according to the State’s
Department of Aging and Health. The U.S. economic
impact from this is estimated at $30 billion per year as
those severely injured usually end up in nursing homes
or assisted living.
There are many precipitating factors that contribute
to falls in older adults. As we age, our bodies weaken
and our reflexes slow down. The effects of aging can
lead to arthritis, osteoporosis or Parkinson’s. The
medications people take to manage these chronic
conditions may come with side effects such as insomnia
or dizziness, which may contribute to falls. Moreover,
common dangers around the house include furniture
such as coffee tables rank among the top items that
contribute to falls. Clutter around the house or poor
lighting also increases the chance for falls. While there
are many causes of such accidents, there are practical
things people can do to modify the risks.
Communicating with your doctor is the single most
Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Pittsburgh
Slow and STEADI
Preventing Falls
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