“People can die after a fall for many reasons, which may include head trauma, internal bleeding and complications of a bone fracture,” he said. “Fractures can lead to hospitalization, immobility in bed and respiratory or other infections, which can be fatal.”
Falls are common and costly, especially among Americans age 65 and older. But falls are preventable and do not have to be an inevitable part of aging. Every second of every day, an older adult (age 65+) suffers a fall in the U.S.—making falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group.
Decelerating rapidly – which is what happens if the human body falls and then makes sudden impact – can cause cells to rupture. Like cells, blood vessels can also break open, preventing the circulation of oxygen throughout the body. Without oxygen, our organs, including the brain, cease to function.
For seniors, fractures are the most serious consequence of falls (short of death). The most common bones to fracture in falls are: The hip, femur (thigh bone), pelvis, and vertebrae (spine);
Effects of a Fall on the Elderly The most obvious effect of a fall is an injury. Common injuries from falls for the elderly include hip fractures and head injuries, and can also include broken arms and legs. Around 300,000 elderly people are hospitalized for hip fractures, most of which occur from falling sideways.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults age 65 and older, and the age-adjusted fall death rate is increasing. The age-adjusted fall death rate is 64 deaths per 100,000 older adults. Fall death rates among adults age 65 and older increased about 30% from 2009 to 2018.
Top 5 Causes of Falls
8 Things the Doctors Should Check After a Fall
Falls can cause adverse psychological impact on carees, increased fear of falling again, decreased self-efficacy, and confidence in balance .
In fact, the source reported that in a study, only one-third of seniors who were classified as severely or moderately disabled prior to their fall were able to fully recover within one year.
Older people are more likely to break bones in falls because many older people have porous, fragile bones due to osteoporosis. Additionally, seniors are more likely to have complications from surgeries, as the sedation and additional trauma to the body make the recovery more risky.
Falls can be classified into three types: