Falls Are More Dangerous The Older You Get
As we age our bodies don’t recover from injuries as well as they did when we were 5 or even 20. Complications that come with age like osteoporosis can make falls more devastating than they would normally be. “Falling, particularly falling repeatedly, increases the risk of injury, hospitalization, and death, particularly in older people who are frail and have pre existing disease comorbidities (eg, osteoporosis) and deficits in activities of daily living (eg, incontinence). Longer-term complications can include decreased physical function, fear of falling, and institutionalization. Falls reportedly contribute to more than 40% of nursing home admissions.
Over 50% of falls among older people result in an injury. Although most injuries are not serious (eg, contusions, abrasions), fall-related injuries account for about 5% of hospitalizations in patients over the age of 65. About 5% of falls result in fractures of the humerus, wrist, or pelvis. Another 2% of falls result in a hip fractures. Other serious injuries (eg, head and internal injuries, lacerations) occur in about 10% of falls. Some fall-related injuries are fatal. Approximately 5% of older people with hip fractures die while hospitalized. Overall mortality in the 12 months after a hip fracture ranges from 18 to 33%.
About half of older people who fall cannot get up without help. Remaining on the floor for more than 2 hours after a fall increases risk of dehydration, pressure ulcers, rhabdomyolysis, hypothermia, and pneumonia.
Function and quality of life may deteriorate drastically after a fall; at least 50% of older people who were ambulatory before fracturing a hip do not recover their previous level of mobility. After falling, older people may fear falling again, so mobility is sometimes reduced because confidence is lost. Some people may even avoid certain activities (eg, shopping, cleaning) because of this fear. Decreased activity can increase joint stiffness and weakness, further reducing mobility.” – Laurence Z. Rubenstein so what causes these falls?