We already know that falling is a serious risk for older Americans. The statistics are clear: Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among seniors. One in four seniors falls every year.
Every 19 minutes an older person dies from complications of a fall. What’s new is the organization that just formed a task force to address falling in the elderly: the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).
How has falling become an endocrine issue?
An article in the Association’s journal Endocrine Practice notes that type 2 diabetes is implicated in many falls. The article notes that over 400 factors are associated with the risk of falls in the elderly diabetes, but
type 2 diabetes is one of the most significant risk factors.
Hypoglycemia in elderly diabetics result in a twofold increase in falls over the course of a year.
Older people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to fall than nondiabetics of similar age. One reason for this is that diabetics often suffer from peripheral neuropathy,
a condition that causes them to lose sensation in their feet, which can easily lead
to a fall. Diabetics are also subject to hypoglycemia if their blood sugar falls too
low. According to a study in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, hypoglycemia in elderly diabetics result in a twofold increase in falls over the
course of a year.
Moreover, diabetics often take several medications, a practice known as polypharmacy. Polypharmacy itself is a risk factor for falling, since the more medications a person takes, the more likely those medications are to interact and result in an issue, such as dizziness and impaired cognitive function, that can precipitate a fall.
In short, while every senior has to worry about falling, diabetics — and those who care for and love them — need to be especially careful.
At Laurel Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center, in the scenic beach town of Keansburg, NJ, we design a programs whose goals are to get our residents to their optimal level of functioning and independence as quickly as possible. We provide a tailored program of physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as all types of specialized care under one roof.
Our long-term care program offers 24/7 skilled nursing care of the highest caliber for our residents. In addition to a varied selection of stimulating activities and recreational programs, our residents benefit from our specialty health services, exquisite dining and social services.
As specialists in geriatrics, we take particular care to monitor both type 2 diabetes and the fall risk, since they are serious concerns for the older population.
Or better yet, come see for yourself. Contact us to schedule a tour by clicking here or by calling (372) 787-8100.