The Catastrophe of a Fall

Jim Vernadakis PTA, Assistant Director of Rehab

After a fall, a 5 year old picks themselves up and keeps going; a 40 year old picks themselves up, is bruised and sore for a few days. However, very often a fall in our elderly population results in a more significant injury.

Fall prevention is very important, but often an overlooked topic. So why is fall prevention so important? Falls constitute a major reason why people are no longer able to go out into the community or to live independently in their home. Statistics show that 90% of falls in the elderly results in hip fractures.

What are the risk factors?

1. Difficulty walking, sitting or rising from a seated position. Short shuffling steps or multiple attempts to stand.
2. Losing your balance.
3. Being on 4 or more medications.
4. Drop in blood pressure or dizziness upon standing.
5. Problems with vision, hearing, memory, or sensation.
6. Foot pain or improper footwear.
7. Hazards at home like throw rugs and clutter.

So what are the chances of you falling?

• No risk factor = 8% chance of falling.
• 1 risk factor = 18% risk of falling.
• 2 risk factors = 32% chance of falling.
• 3 risk factors = 60% chance of falling.

Don’t be a statistic! Share any concerns with your doctor, and see a Physical Therapist.