Reducing Falls Among Older Asian Adults

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Reducing falls among older Asian adults

Clinical Prevention for Diverse Populations

Antoinette (not her real name), 67 and recently retired as an elementary school teacher, suffered a fall at her home while cleaning the cupboards. She lives alone, but her sister lives about an hour away from her. She was admitted to the hospital and was treated for subdural hematoma, requiring evacuation of blood clots in her brain. She had an uneventful medical stay but Antoinette needed 24-hour supervision on discharge. She suffered cognitive deficits as a result of her fall and it was not safe for her to be left alone. Fall related injuries are a serious public health issue among people aged> 65 years in developed countries. (Stevens, 2011) Direct medical costs totaled $19 billion dollars for the 2.6 million cases of nonfatal falls and $0.2 billion dollars for the 10300 cases of nonfatal falls in 2000. Although the incidence of non-fatal falls varied with age, the cost doubled between age 65- 74 and 75-84 then remained the same. From CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Report 2013, it is significant to note that the mortality rate due to unintentional injuries increases sharply with age. In 2007, the age specific mortality rate due to unintentional injuries for adults 85 and older was more than three times higher than those 75 – 84 and fifty times higher than those 45 – 74. Aside from fall related admissions, the CDC also reports that 51% of the older population has at least one chronic condition like Hypertension, high cholesterol and Osteoarthritis, Diabetes, Stroke or Cancer. Any one of this condition presents with different physical symptoms like muscle or joint pain (56%), leg cramping (55%), trouble with vision (47%), and dizziness (3...

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