Over 1/3 of older adult falls result in head injuries (TBI). Falls among our seniors are largely preventable. A senior aged 75+ who sustains a fracture from a fall has a 25% rate of survival over 12 months. Falls are the number 1 cause of injury for age 65+. Falls are the 5 th leading cause of death among seniors. May 2006 Journal of the American Geriatric Society
Poor hearing causes poor balance. Hearing has no direct affect on balance. Falling is a natural part of aging. Falling is symptomatic of other health issues. Exercise keeps seniors from falling. General exercise reduces fall risk by 30%, but does not rule out the other 70% of fall risks. May 2006 Journal of the American Geriatric Society
"Falls are one of the most common health problems experienced by older adults and are a common cause of losing functional independence," said guidelines panel co-chair Mary E. Tinetti, MD, from Yale University School of Medicine. "Given their frequency and consequences, falls are as serious a health problem for older persons as heart attacks and strokes. “ January 13, 2011; American Geriatric Society
Older Americans and their physicians are doing a good job at intervening with disease processes. Consequently, mortality rates are declining for heart attacks and strokes. HOWEVER… Falls injury mortality rates continue to rise, placing more older Americans at risk for death, hospitalization and/or nursing home placement. 1-2011 American Geriatric Society
January 1, 2011: Medicare now includes Fall Risk Screenings and Assessments as part of a senior’s Annual Wellness Visit.* CMS-Affordable Care Act of 2010-CR7079 * Primary Care Physicians who perform The Annual Wellness Visit may refer components of the AWV to other medical specialty practices and more than one physician.
Falls are the leading cause of injuries for those individuals over the age 65. True False
Falls are the leading cause of injuries for those individuals over the age 65. True False Falls are the leading cause of injuries among people aged 65 and over AND the 5 th leading cause of death. Center for Disease Control & Prevention 2008
When we are healthy, we are able to maintain balance because the brain is continually receiving and processing signals from at least three major sources: the eyes, the muscles and joints, and the vestibular system (inner ear and brain).
Our brain expects to receive information from all balance components: eyes, inner ear, muscles & joints, and sense of touch. When the brain is deprived of any input, (due to inactivity, trauma, or disease) OR if the eyes and the rest of the system disagree…then the sense of balance is compromised …and a fall can occur.
In many individuals, one or more of the senses are missing and the person does not realize they are losing their balance. True False
In many individuals, one or more of the senses are missing and the person does not realize they are losing their balance. True False Balance is a complicated function that can be compromised by chronic health conditions, medications, lack of physical activity, emotional and psycho-social issues. Often, the loss of sensory input is so gradual that most people don’t realize that they even have a problem.
3 out of 4 people aged 70+ have a balance impairment! NCH Data Brief No.31 April 2010
A home that has grab bars, no throw rugs, good lighting, no clutter or poorly placed cords is safe and will keep a client from falling. True False
A home that has grab bars, no throw rugs, good lighting, no clutter or poorly placed cords is safe and will keep a client from falling . True False Several studies show that common sense safety checks around the house make good sense for everyone, regardless of age; seniors who have fallen are likely to fall again…regardless of where they are.