It’s the leading cause of death from an injury in people over the age of 65. Each year, one in three seniors will fall. 20 percent of those falls leads to serious injuries that half will not survive.
Mark Tesoro, an injury prevention educator with Lee Health, says falls can be prevented. “Falls are not a normal part of aging. Falls are actually a symptom of something else going on.”
Falls can be caused by physical, environmental, or behavioral problems. “You can have the best balance in the world and still those other factors will cause you to fall,” said Tesoro.
Falls can happen at any age for a variety of reasons including vertigo, blood pressure, dehydration, or medications. “A lot of times when you take meds, especially folks who are a little older they feel like, oh this makes me dizzy or confused and I’m going to just push through it and that’s fine. We’re here to tell you that’s not fine. If you’re feeling dizzy or confused that’s a problem. Talk to your doctor about it,” said Tesoro.
Another big problem is footwear. Shoes like high heels, flip flops, crocs, even house slippers can cause a fall. “There are a thousand things in the home that can cause a fall. Again, you can have perfect balance but if you have those issues in the home, cabling, poor lighting, pets running around, toys, you are at risk for a fall,” said Tesoro.
60 percent of falls happen inside the home. Experts recommend moving furniture, rugs, or clutter that may cause a fall. “This is a huge topic. In the trauma center what we see are motor vehicle crashes and falls. Actually falls is our leading cause of trauma death, above motor vehicle crashes,” said Tesoro.
A serious problem that can be prevented if patients are careful and mindful of their environment.
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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.