Fractures and Falls: What You Need to Know

According to the CDC, there are roughly 36 million falls among older adults every year. In 2020, those falls resulted in 36,000 deaths. These shocking numbers over the years have led to a number of programs, awareness, advocacy, and research that will hopefully decrease those numbers significantly. Here’s what you need to know about fractures and falls.

What You Need to Know

While both the numbers listed above are scary, there are some things that are important to know. Not only to help prevent falls, but to recover from them, and help loved ones who have fallen. 

Firstly, it’s important to know the factors that can lead to falls:

  • Vision problems that cause uncertain steps and prevent individuals from seeing their path and the obstacles in it.
  • Diseases that cause imbalance like vertigo or Huntington’s.
  • Muscle or bone damage caused by diseases such as osteoporosis.
  • Cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Medications that cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Carelessness by caregivers (especially with people who have mobility issues).
  • Poor lighting, furniture that is too high or too low, uneven floors, cluttered spaces, and unstable furniture.

It is important to remember that keeping up with certain aspects of your health can greatly lessen your chances of falling.

  • Ask for regular eye exams.
  • Exercise often.
  • Upgrade any furniture that might be old and unstable.
  • Declutter the home/living environment.
  • Understand which of your medications might cause dizziness or muscle weakness.
  • If you feel you might be at risk of osteoporosis, ask your doctor for a screening.
  • Make sure your path is clear and do not take risks if you feel unsteady on your feet – ask for help!

Fractures and Falls

In nursing homes, the risk of falling may increase due to unfamiliar surroundings or a lack of help doing daily activities like using the bathroom. It is important to report your fall to staff so they can schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older Americans and can lead to mental health problems as well. 

“Muscle weakness and gait problems are the most common causes of falls among elderly residents, accounting for about 24% of nursing home falls.”

Nursing Home Abuse Center

Depression as the result of a long recovery is common, as well as an increased fear of falling, and worsening mobility. As a family member or loved one of someone in a nursing home setting, it is important to advocate for fall risk assessments, an environment that is clear of obstacles, and consistent exercise.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.