Falls are Nothing to Take Lightly, Says Dr. Laura Cloukey

Laura Cloukey, DO, Medical Director, The Villages Health®, offers tips on fall prevention, the dangers of falls, and asks you to let your doctor know of any falls you have.

The following is a transcription of the video: 

70% of patients over the age of 70 fall at least once a year. Very very common for falls to happen in and out of the home. Motoring in and out of the home, the staircase to the home, make sure the railings are in place. While in the home, number one problem I see in Florida is flip flops and shoe wear. The elderly need to make sure they have solid shoe wear on. Not flopping shoe wear. It has to have a good grip on the bottom.

The other thing is slippery floors. Scatter rugs. Very very common reason why elderly people fall in their homes. Changing from rug surface to tile surface can discombobulate an elderly person and change their ability to motor well.

All these things need to be carefully examined in older people’s homes. Situations that may result in the fall could be a minor scratch. It could be an abrasion. But just remember this, in elderly people an abrasion could turn into something much more worrisome, such as a soft tissue infection – especially in a diabetic – the worst situation that may result in fall is fracture. And as soon as you fall and, God forbid have a major fracture, there’s your mortality. Your mortality goes down. 90% mortality risk over five years for people that have had a large fracture.

I think it’s very important for people to tell their physician that they’ve had a fall, because it’s not always evident that a fall has occurred. Often times it’s not a big bruised ankle or a big bruise on the thigh. It can be something very very subtle, yet very important. Fractures can happen on bones where there’s no skin findings at all. And so, your history is vital to us, so that we can manage and order the correct diagnostic testing, if that be the case, in the correct medicines to help take care of you.

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Last updated: 07.22.2017

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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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