It’s the leading cause of death from an injury in people over the age of 65. Nicole Longton, nurse practitioner with Lee Health, says while falls are very common, most can be prevented. “Unfortunately, if they fall and break their hip or hit their head it can lead to their loss of independence and unfortunately a lot of times it can cause death.”
Whether it’s caused by a medical condition or an environmental condition, falls can happen in seconds. “You see it a lot, and one fall is all it takes,” said Longton.
In adults 65 or older falls can cause devastating injuries. It’s a problem health experts see too often. The cause is typically a mix between balance issues and medical conditions. “Balance issues can cause a lot of falls, small pets, poor lighting, poor shoe wear, poor balance and weakness in the lower extremities,” said Longton.
Falls can also be caused by medications, poor vision, or by things like throw rugs or stairs. Health experts say regardless of the cause, falls can be prevented. “If patients do come in with multiple falls, or even one fall, I ask them do they live by themselves, I ask them if they have throw rugs around, small pets, hand rails in their bathrooms, by their toilets and in the showers,” said Longton.
Health experts may also recommend patients try changing their medication or footwear, or adding devices, like walkers and rails, throughout their home. Physical therapy and removing any environmental obstacles can also help improve their balance and avoid falls.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.