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Why a fall can be catastrophic for an older person

On Behalf of | May 4, 2023 | Injuries |

Many people assume that the elderly are more susceptible to fall injuries because they tend to trip and have slower reflexes. But in a 2012 study, Simon Fraser University released its research on the matter, and the findings go against this popularly held belief. This is crucial information for anyone in Ohio who wants to keep themselves and their elderly loved ones safe.

Falls are serious for older people

When an elderly individual falls down, the damage can be disastrous because of a combination of brittle bones, stiff joints and weakened muscles. For people who are 65 and older, slip and falls are the main cause of injury and deaths related to injuries.

A loss of balance may be to blame

In the study conducted by Simon Fraser University, incorrectly shifting or transferring their body weight led to a significant amount of a particular type of falls classified as tumbles. According to the researchers, many of these falls seem to occur because the older person was trying to regain their balance the wrong way. This is a common problem when they are moving from a chair to a walker.

As it turns out, slips and trips are the much rarer instances of falls in the elderly. Common activities that happen right before a fall include walking, but it also regularly happens when the individual is simply sitting or standing.

It’s often the assumption that older people don’t have the reaction time to brace themselves before they hit the ground, but this study indicates this to be false. Most of the elderly people in the study used their hands to try to break their fall, but it wasn’t enough to prevent an injury.