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Avoiding Falls

A study of fall-related deaths among older adults conducted by New York City Department of Health and Mental Hy giene, Injury Epidemiology Unit found that two-thirds of all fatal falls occurred in the decedent’s residence and did not have a witness. Traumatic brain injuries were more common in the 65-84 group, and hip fractures were more frequent in decedents 85+. Overall, being 85+, white and falling down stairs lead to significantly less time between injury and death.
“Some people believe that falls are a normal part of aging, and as such are not preventable. But this is false”, states Rein Tideiksaar, Ph.D., PA-C, gerontologist and falls prevention expert. “Falls usually are caused by certain health conditions (due to normal physical changes of aging or from illness) and/or environmental hazards in the home interfering with safety. In most of cases, falls do not have to happen. Many of the causes of falling are preventable, but only if action is taken.”
Dr. Tideiksaar’s Self-Assessment of Fall Risk is available by visiting lorechyomim.org, Resource tab. His next installment in this series will provide valuable guidelines on how to avoid falls, which is among the most costly causes of preventable disability and
death in adults ages 65+.
- By Rein Tideiksaar, Ph.D., PA-C Author of textbooks, professional training manuals and director of numerous research projects on fall prevention, Rein Tideiksaar, Ph.D., PA-C has been active in this field for over 30 years, and has developed fall prevention programs in the community, assisted living, home care, acute care hospital, and nursing facility setting. Feel free to e-mailDr. Tideiksaar at drrein@verizon.net

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