Did you know that falls are NOT a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented? Hebrew SeniorLife works throughout Massachusetts and in our own senior living communities to educate seniors about this fact through our evidenced-based programs department. Our work supporting evidence-based programs helps empower older adults to become more active partners in managing their own health care.
There are a number of risks associated with the harsh winter weather—not just the frigid temperatures. One of the most threatening winter hazards is the potential for slipping and falling on patches of ice or snow. These falls can lead to a variety of injuries—from cuts and scrapes to broken bones. In fact, fractured ankles (at any age) and broken hips (especially for those over 50) are two of the most frequent common injuries that can result from falls on ice or snow.
It was six years ago in 2009 that a colleague of mine had to cancel lunch with Dr. Jue Zhang, a visiting scientist from Peking University, and asked me to stand in as host. At the time I had no way of knowing how profoundly that lunch would affect the course of my career. What started as conversation between two scientists getting to know each other over Chinese food has grown into a robust and productive aging research collaboration.
A hip fracture is one of the most common injuries in older adults, with about 90% of fractures occurring in people over 60. Hip fractures usually require surgery (and possibly hip replacement) followed by intensive rehabilitation. It is critical that rehabilitation services begin early and continue until the patient reaches his or her maximal functional level.
Life is a continual balancing act. When we’re young, it may seem as though we’re able to take on everyday activities with ease. But, as we grow older, our senses and ability to efficiently perform multiple tasks at the same time start to slowly deteriorate. Even the simplest of simultaneous activities, such as walking and talking, can disrupt our balance and put us at risk for a serious fall-related injury.
If you ask older adults, “What are your biggest fears?” many will tell you they have a fear of falling. Some have already fallen, while others have witnessed a friend or family member suffer a fall and its painful or sometimes life-threatening consequences.
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Finds Better Way to Prevent Falls
December 26, 2013 Karen Drake
When residents come to Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, they are here because they need round-the-clock care, often including regular medical attention. But, this is still where they live, and we are always trying to find ways to make our residents feel at home. This often means finding a balance between creating a home-like environment, and making sure that our residents are safe.
Falls can be scary business, especially when you consider the following statistics; each year, more than one-third of Americans over the age of 65 suffer a fall, resulting in roughly 13,700 deaths. Falls can also result in hip fractures– a common injury when you are older and one that usually requires surgical repair, replacement and intensive physical therapy.
Let’s face it – winters can be tough. Months of frigid temperatures and heavy snow fall can make daily life difficult and isolation at home even more common for seniors. You can, however, safely maneuver through winter weather by realizing the high risk for falls during icy and snowy conditions and taking proper precautions.