Ken Guest Blogs: Falling Can Be Fatal

This Guest Blog Post is from Ken Huang, one of Dr. T’s Health Psychology students:

This New York Times article by Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a professor and vice chairman of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, discusses falling and the heavy consequences that falling has for the elderly. We don’t usually tend to think of falling as that serious of an incident — we might get a scraped knee or a bruised elbow, but it’s not life threatening most of the time. However, for senior citizens, falling can be deadly. Reports from the CDC state that 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will fall each year and “in that demographic, falls are the leading cause of injury death.” For women, who tend to have weaker bones at older ages, falls are twice as likely to lead to fractures than compared to men. However one-third more men die from falls than as compared to women. This isn’t just an issue for the elderly, but for the rest of us as well; injury from falls costs our society over $30 billion in medical treatment fees. The good news is that falls are largely preventable through a combination of approaches. Exercise, osteoporosis screening, properly house-proofing (installing stability bars in showers, removing tripping hazards, etc.), monitoring medications that can cause dizziness and motion problems, etc. are just some of the ways that falls or the dangerous affects of falls can be reduced.