Common Injuries That Befall Seniors

Publication Date: 
Mon, 06/01/2015
By: Alere Staff

As the population continues to age in the United States, so too has the demand for emergency and hospital care. The good news is that seniors who get immediate help for their injuries return more quickly to a normal, independent lifestyle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, statistically falls are a leading cause of fatal injuries in people over 65 years of age. Falls are also the main cause of non-fatal injuries, with motor vehicle accidents second on the list.  

The CDC has also found that every year one in three adults over 65 experiences a fall, but less than half of them will speak to a doctor about it. Many injuries caused by a fall could be treated if help is sought out immediately. These injuries include:

  • Moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures and head traumas.
  • Traumatic brain injuries.
  • Fractures of the spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.

Below are some additional statistics you may find interesting:

1511055-01-Statistics

Lower the chances of a fall by:

  • Exercising regularly, focusing on increasing leg strength and improving balance. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
  • Having your doctor review your medications to identify those that can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Having your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and updating your eyeglass prescription to maximize your vision.
  • Making your home safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving lighting in your home.

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References:

  1. National Council on Aging. Falls Prevention Fact Sheet. Arlington, VA. National Council on Aging (NCOA). 2015. Retrieved from website: http://www.ncoa.org/assets/files/pdf/Fact-Sheet_Falls-Prevention.pdf.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview. Atlanta, GA. March, 2015. Retrieved from website: http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html
  3. Gowing, R. and Jain M.K. Injury Patterns and Outcomes Associated with Elderly Trauma Victims in Kingston, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Surgery. 2007 Dec; 50(6): 437-444.