Falls are serious problems for the elderly as their bones are frailer, thus contributing to greater consequences such as fractures. Healing time also becomes impaired as we get older and the body simply cannot heal itself as it once could. Experiencing a fall can impair a senior’s daily life, and they may be unable to complete daily tasks as they try to regain their health. This can contribute to a loss of self-worth as well as depression, which can worsen preexisting medical conditions as well.
Findings presented at the Infectious Disease Week 2015 showed that seniors who end up in the hospital after experiencing a fall often also have an infection. UTIs, blood and respiratory infections were found to be the most common infections in the elderly who experience falls. Researchers also suggest that although this is common in the elderly, younger adults could also experience the same results.
Study investigator, Farrin A. Manian, M.D., said, “Over the years I’ve been struck by the fact that some of the more serious infections I treated were in people who came to the hospital because they fell. Even though many of the patients had vague early signs of an infection, such as weakness, or lethargy, it was the fall that brought them in.”
The researchers estimate that infections are responsible for 20 to 45 percent of falls experienced by the elderly. Falls by infection can result due to a drop in blood pressure or added confusion in those already diagnosed with dementia.
To achieve their results researchers examined 161 patients admitted to emergency because of a fall and who were diagnosed with a coexisting infection. Seventy-one of them had a UTI, 64 had a bloodstream infection, 37 had a respiratory infection and nine had an infection of the heart valve. Initially, 41 percent of participants were not suspected of infection as they did not show the typical symptoms.
The findings suggest that more consideration to the cause of falls should be given to infections, and how the person is feeling should be considered as well.
Seniors are at a higher risk for falls because they have more medical conditions that can contribute to falls, and they also have weaker bones. One in five seniors will experience a fall, which will lead to broken bones or a brain injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, each year nearly 2.5 million older adults are treated for fall injuries.
Falls can contribute to broken bones, head injuries and fear of falling again, which may cause them to minimize or stop daily activities.
Other factors that can cause falls in the elderly include:
These risk factors may act alone or in combination with each other, increasing the risk of falls even more.
The risk of falls is high among older adults and can lead to many other health consequences. For these reasons it’s important to prevent falls whenever possible. Here are some home tips to prevent falls in older people.
Falls can be a scary reality for seniors, and there are many contributing factors that can increase the risk. By following these home tips you can better prevent falls, which can lead to serious and debilitating injuries.
Four million dollars in grants was awarded by the U.S. government’s Administration on Aging to help seniors avoid falling. The funding will affect seven states in the next two years in an effort to help more than 18,000 Americans prevent falls. Continue reading…
According to latest research, though, there is something seniors can do that can prevent falls. In fact, walking after a meal can help older people from falling down. That’s because standing up and moving around after eating could prevent the elderly from particular falls brought on by a sudden loss in blood pressure. Continue reading…