(By – Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News)
Daphne Brown, 65, was putting away the dishes in her Washington kitchen when she fell to the floor. Jane Bulla, 82, fell at home in Laurel, Maryland, but managed to call for help with the cellphone in her pocket. Susan Le, 63, who has trouble walking due to arthritis, hurt her leg when she tripped on a pile of leaves in Silver Spring. And late one night when no one was around, Jean Esquivel, 72, slipped on the ice in the parking lot outside her Silver Spring apartment.
Falls are the leading cause of injuries for adults 65 and older, and 2.5 million of them end up in hospital emergency departments for treatment every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The consequences can range from bruises, fractured hips and head injuries to irreversible calamities that can lead to death. And older adults who fall once are twice as likely as their peers to fall again.
Despite these scary statistics, a dangerous fall does not have to be an inevitable part of aging. Risk-reduction programs are offered around the country. Read more…
Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
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