More older Americans are reportedly dying after suffering from falls. Many of the deaths are related to hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries from which patients don’t recover.
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that fatal falls have nearly tripled in older Americans during a 16 year span, rising to more than 25,000 deaths yearly.
The circumstances were not included in the study but according to a news report, Elizabeth Burns, a study co-author and health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s injury center, says,
“Deaths from falls may have increased because older people are living longer, living longer independently, and are living longer with chronic conditions. Also, some medications can make older adults prone to falls.” – The Associated Press
This study points to the importance of fall prevention, which includes exercises to build muscle strength and balance. Dr. Robert Wermers, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist, has done fall prevention research and says tai chi is a low-impact balance exercise that can reduce falls and prevent life-impairing bone fractures in seniors.