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The Consequences of a Fall
It's no secret that older adults are at a higher risk for falls. In fact, falls are one of the leading causes of injury in adults over 65. Falling can have painful consequences, both physically and emotionally. If you're an older adult, it's important to take steps to prevent falls and protect yourself from potential injuries. In this blog post, we will discuss the dangers of falling and offer some tips for staying safe.
Consequences of Falling
One of the most common—and painful—consequences of falling is broken bones. Wrists, arms, ankles, and hips are all susceptible to breaking in a fall. Older adults are especially vulnerable to hip fractures, which can be incredibly painful and take months to heal properly. Many adults face mobility issues when they reach a certain age. And broken bones add to such problems. If the older adult already has arthritis, then a fall can worsen the condition.
Falls can cause severe and even fatal head injuries in older adults. Even a simple fall can result in a concussion or other brain injury. These types of injuries can lead to long-term cognitive problems, increased risk of dementia, and loss of independence. Such injuries can affect their quality of life at such a sensitive stage.
Emotional Consequences: Increased Fear of Falling Again
Falling can also have serious emotional consequences for older adults. Many older adults who fall become scared or anxious about falling again. As a result, they may start to limit their physical activity, which can lead to a further decline in physical health. It's important to seek help if you're struggling with fear or anxiety after a fall.
When an older adult falls, the first concern of their loved ones is the level of physical harm the fall might have incurred on the older adult. However, falls can affect the person both physically and mentally. Falling can also cause a loss of confidence in older adults. This may be due to the fear of falling again or the pain and injuries that can result from a fall. Additionally, this loss of confidence can lead to social isolation, as the individual may not want to go out and do activities where they may fall. This can lead to additional issues like depression and anxiety.
Increased Risk of Fractures
Falls are also a common cause of fractures in older adults. This is because bones become weaker with age and are more likely to break after a fall. Even if bones don't break after a fall, the bones can get damaged and become weak, leading to an increased risk of fractures.
Inability to Stand Up Alone After a Fall
There are several possible consequences of falling for an older adult. One is that they may be unable to get up by themselves after a fall and will need assistance from someone else. This can lead to further injuries if the individual cannot be moved properly or if they fall again while trying to stand up. Additionally, this can lead to a loss of independence and mobility, as the individual may not be able to get around without help.
Cuts and Scrapes
Another common injury seniors suffer in falls are cuts and scrapes. These wounds often happen when seniors fall onto gravel or concrete, which can tear open the skin. While cuts and scrapes may not seem like a big deal, they can be quite serious for seniors. That's because older adults are more susceptible to infection than younger people. If you get a cut or scrape in a fall, wash it thoroughly with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.
When you fall, you're likely to bruise yourself. The most common places for bruises are on the hip, thigh, shin, and upper arm. Older adults are more prone to bruising because their skin is sensitive, and they usually have less fatty tissue under the skin to cushion the blow.
Another painful injury that older adults may suffer when they fall is a joint dislocation. This occurs when the bone in a joint is pushed out of alignment with the joint. The most common joints dislocated in a fall are the shoulder, elbow, and finger. If you suffer a joint dislocation in a fall, you will likely need to see a doctor or orthopedist to put the bone back into place. Depending on the severity of the dislocation, you may also need physical therapy to regain the full range of motion in the affected joint.
There are several things that older adults can do to prevent falls. For example:
- Exercising regularly to improve strength and balance
- Checking your home for obstacles like loose rugs or cluttered walking areas
- Wearing shoes with good support
- Asking your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications for side effects that could contribute to falling
- Having your eyes checked regularly
Always Consult a Doctor After a FallEven if you don't think you're injured, it's important to see a doctor after a fall. That's because some injuries, like concussions, may not show symptoms right away. A doctor will be able to assess whether or not you need further medical treatment. Falls are a serious problem for older adults and can lead to painful consequences. If you or someone you know has fallen, it's important to seek medical help right away.
Falling is a serious problem for older adults, with both short-term and long-term consequences. If you or someone you love has fallen, it's important to seek help right away. Don't let the fear of falling keep you from living your life to the fullest—get help and get moving again!