Fall, A Season? Or a Safety Concern?
With the leaves changing and seasons turning it is time to talk about “Fall”, but perhaps not in the way you are thinking. As the weather changes and the temperature outdoors starts to decrease the incidence of fall related injuries has been noted to increased1. A good working definition for the context of fall that we will be discussing is any event that leads to an unplanned, unexpected contact with a supporting surface2 . Here at Legacy we have an interconnected team of specialists that can identify risk factors that may predispose a patient for falls then provide timely intervention and recommendations on how to decrease the risk of falling.
A few quick statistics to emphasize the importance of intervention in patients with poor balance:
- 25-35% of people 65 and older experience 1 or more falls per year2-4
- 40% of hospital admissions for 65 and older are the result of a fall-related injury5
- Average hospital stay for fall injury for ages 65 and up = 11.6 days5
- Approximately 50% of older adults hospitalized for falls are discharged to a nursing home5
If you are feeling unsteady on your feet, constantly worrying that a fall is imminent, or pain has started limiting your mobility then reach out to your local medical doctor, someone from the Legacy Team, or your local physical therapist for a treatment plan that will have you ready for Spring!
1 Pui-Yee, et al. Higher incidence of falls in winter among older people in Hong Kong.
2 Tinetti ME, Ginter SF. Identifying mobility dysfunctions in elderly patients: standard neuromuscular examination or direct assessment? JAMA. 1988;259:1190-1193.
3 Tinetti ME, Speechley M Ginter SF. Risk factors for falls among elderly persons living in the community. N Engl J Med. 1989:319: 1701-1707.
4 Nevitt MC, Cummings SR. Risk factors for recurrent non-syncopal falls: a prospective study. JAMA. 1989;261:266.7-2668.
5 Tinetti ME, Mendes de Leon CF, Doucette JT, Baker DI. Fear of falling and fall-related efficacy in relationship to functioning among community-dwelling elders. J Gerontology. 1994;49:M140-M147.