Caring Currents

Brain Injuries Are the Biggest Risk When the Elderly Fall

Last updated: Jul 02, 2008

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Most folks think that the greatest danger a senior faces from falling is a broken bone, usually a hip. Not so.

Fifty percent of all elderly people who take a tumble and bang their head suffer fatal brain injuries, according to a just released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. And many more wind up in the hospital with head injuries that can cause long-term problems that affect thinking and other functions.

Talk about a wake-up call. Here's another: Every year, one out of every three Americans aged 65 and older take a spill, and a third of such falls cause injuries serious enough to require medical treatment.

Falling is such a big problem among the aged that Caring Currents has visited the subject several times in the past few weeks and included fall prevention tips such as reducing floor clutter, installing adequate lighting, and encouraging your parents to do exercises to maintain strength and balance.

The CDC has other suggestions, along with advice about preventing brain injuries in the elderly.

Now it's your turn. Do you have any recommendations to help safeguard seniors from taking a life-altering slip?

Image by Flickr user blucolt used under the Creative Commons attribution license.