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What Serious Injuries Can Occur When a Senior Falls?

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For younger people, slipping and falling is a rare event that normally doesn’t cause many problems beyond a skinned knee. However, falls can result in serious health concerns for seniors because their bones are more fragile and they tend to heal at a slower rate. It’s important for seniors to try to avoid falls because any accident can lead to these five serious injuries.

Broken Bones

One of the most common consequences of a fall is a broken bone. Bone density tends to decrease with age, so seniors end up with fragile bones that can easily fracture when any sort of abnormal force is put on them. Many falls result in smaller fractures to the arms or legs, but falls can also cause more serious fractures. Roughly 95 percent of all hip fractures are caused by a fall. This sort of bone breakage can take months to heal and greatly impair a senior’s future mobility.

Seniors who live alone at home are at risk of fall-related injuries and need extra support from family caregivers. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care Colorado Springs seniors can trust and rely on.

Abrasions and Lacerations

When seniors fall down on rough surfaces, they could end up with scrapes and cuts. Since immune systems weaken with age, anything that breaks the surface of the skin greatly increases infection risks, which is particularly concerning for seniors with diabetes because high blood sugar further impairs hearing. Some seniors might lose a limb or battle a life-threatening infection following a simple scrape.

Brain Injury

Falls are the most frequent cause of traumatic brain injuries in seniors. A brain injury can result in confusion, dizziness, nausea, or amnesia in the short term, and it can also cause long-term effects like frequent headaches, mood swings, or seizures. Because brain injuries can be so severe, it’s important for seniors to get checked out for any fall that results in hitting their head.

Even if your loved one doesn’t have a history of falling, make sure his or her house is safe to live in. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust Colorado Springs in-home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.

Joint Dislocations

When falling in certain positions, such as onto an outstretched hand, the sudden jar to a joint can pop a bone out of its socket. In addition to being quite painful, dislocations can make it difficult to remain mobile. Once a dislocation has happened, seniors are more likely to experience dislocations in the future, which may further impair their mobility.

Retinal Detachments

Though rare, a retinal detachment is a particularly serious consequence of a fall because it can result in permanent vision loss if not treated promptly. A retinal detachment occurs when blunt injury to the area surrounding the eye causes the retina to separate from the rest of the eyeball. Since retinal detachments are more common in those with cataracts, they’re more likely to happen to seniors. Warning signs of a detached retina include light flashes, darkening peripheral vision, and seeing small flecks in vision.

Falling is a common cause of injuries in older adults, and they need individualized care to age safely at home. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Colorado Springs Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To hire an in-home caregiver today, contact us at (719) 822-1229.