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One in Three Seniors Slip and Fall Down

Americans 65 or older are more prone to falling. One in three older Americans fall each year, and it is actually a leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people 65 or older.
Americans 65 or older are more prone to falling. One in three older Americans fall each year, and it is actually a leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people 65 or older.

Falls can cause broken bones, hip fractures and head injuries. It can also cause older Americans to become inactive because they become fearful of falling again.

- Issues with balance and gait due to loss of coordination and flexibility from aging
- The side effects of medications, including dizziness and dehydration
- Chronic conditions like diabetes, stroke or arthritis can lead to lost function, inactivity, and pain – all of which can increase the risk of falling.
- New environments that an older adult may be unfamiliar with

Color coded footwear that indicates their risk of falling. Red socks mean the patient should not get out of bed without help, yellow indicates that the patient needs assistance with walking and using the restroom, and green means that the patient is able to walk independently.

Call for help when they need it, as our staff is here to provide any needed assistance. You can help prevent yourself from falling by ringing your bedside call button if you are about to stand and feel weak or dizzy, if you were given medicine for pain or sleeping, or if it is the first time you are getting out of bed after surgery.

- Follow instructions given by your doctor or nurse about whether you may get out of bed, use the bathroom or walk in the hallways without assistance.
- Also, use any devices that you need to walk steadily, including a cane, walker, wheelchair or crutches.
- Understand current health conditions.
- Make sure they are taking their medications regularly, and see if they are experiencing any side effects.
- Monitor changes to vision and hearing, as loss to these functions are major contributing factors of falling. Your loved one may need to make appointments to see if they need an updated eye prescription or hearing assistance.
In addition to talking to your loved one, it's important to simply watch them.
- They may need to see a physical therapist to improve their balance, strength and gait. A physical therapist may recommend a cane or walker to help them further.

If you'd like more information just check out Mount Nittany Medical Center’s website for tips on how you can prevent falls.
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