When young children fall, they get back up and go – often without a second thought. But as people get older, they don't bounce back from falls as easily.
In adults age 65 and older, falls often cause hip fractures and head injuries that compromise quality of life. Some 21,000 older Americans die annually from injuries suffered in falls.
Blacking out and falling can result in loss of confidence, depression and a constant fear that makes seniors limit their activities. In doing so, so they lose mobility and physical fitness, increasing their risk of future falls.
In the SLUCare Fainting and Falling Clinic at St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital, a team of specialists, led by experts from SLUCare Geriatric Medicine, work together to address the underlying medical problems that may cause falls:
- Fainting, often due to heart arrhythmia
- Excessive medication
- Worsening vision
- Gait instability
- Exaggerated cardiovascular reflexes
- Issues related to diabetes or Parkinson's disease
The clinic was established by Dr. John Morley, former director of the divisions of geriatric medicine and endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at SLU. Patients at the clinic are evaluated by a geriatrician, endocrinologist and cardiologist. Each patient undergoes a full range of tests to determine the cause of their symptoms, so they can be treated effectively to prevent future injuries and continue to live as independently as possible.
For more information about the SLUCare Fainting and Falling Clinic, call 314-977-4440.