Who is at risk
Research supports the common sense notion that getting prompt help makes surviving an emergency more likely. The ability to get help also boosts the odds that a senior will continue to live independently. The longer a person spends helpless, the greater the likelihood he/she will be discharged into supportive care. For elderly people who live alone, becoming incapacitated and unable to get help is a common event, which usually marks the end to their ability to live independently.
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack and Stroke
Coronary Heart Disease is America's No. 1 killer. Stroke is No. 3 and a leading cause of serious disability. That's why it's so important to reduce your risk signs and know how to respond quickly and properly if warning signs occur.
Four out of five North Americans will be touched by stroke. More women die from stroke than from breast cancer. Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the country, and the number 1 cause of adult disability. The statistics are staggering. However, many strokes are preventable and treatable with prompt medical attention.
Heart Attack and Strokes are life and death emergencies — every second counts. If you see or have these symptoms, get help fast. Treatment is more effective when given quickly.
Safety in your Home
1 out of 3 people over the age of 65 falls at least once a year.*
Injury is the fifth leading cause of death in older adults, and most of these fatal injuries are related to falls. In the United States, falls, occurring primarily among older adults, were the second leading cause of deaths due to unintentional injuries.
The problem could be even more pressing: A study published in May 1999 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that falling injuries among the elderly are on the rise.
Advice from the Mayo Clinic
You needn't let the fear of falling rule your life. Many falls and fall-related injuries are preventable. Learn how medical management, physical activity and common-sense precautions can help you avoid falls and stay independent.
View the Mayo Clinic Web Page: "Fall Prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls"
Nearly one half of the older adults who incur a serious injury never fully recover and many lose their ability to function independently for the rest of their lives. A good proportion end up in nursing homes, making falls and the injuries that result one of the most substantial health threats facing older adults.**
* Yale University School of Medicine
** Dept. of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco