For many healthy older adults an unexpected fall can create a turn of events that most could not have anticipated. Problems with falling usually start with a seemingly harmless fall, then another a few months later, each one no more problematic than getting up and brushing off. As a matter of fact, one out of three older adults, those 65 or older, falls each year but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
Professionals seem to agree that some older adults maintain an unrealistic sense of what they are able to do. Commonplace dangers such as bathroom areas, a family pet and high blood pressure and antidepressant medications that cause dizziness are often overlooked. Of those who fall and fracture a hip, 80 percent end up with serious mobility issues and an unexpected loss of independence with the necessity to rely on family, friends and caregivers. Luckily, abundant resources exist for services such as part time and full time in home care to minimize the amount of time that working family members have to leave work to care for their loved ones.
Recovery is often a lengthy and difficult process, both physically and emotionally. At home services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing and social work services are often available to individuals in their homes.
Professionals suggest that aging adults be proactive and consider relocating early to housing that has few stairs or a bedroom on the main level. Incorporating balance training as well as strength training and increasing vitamin D in the diet have shown to help minimize falls.
See the following link to read a November 4 New York Times article on falls.