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New Study Finds Elderly at Increased Risk for PTSD in Days After a Fall

The doctor’s initial diagnosis is in, and you and your loved one are busy making plans to treat the physical injuries your loved one suffered when he fell. You may be learning about traumatic brain injuries, hip surgeries, physical therapy, and in-patient rehabilitation. There is a lot to learn about your loved one’s physical recovery. However, if your loved one is age 65 or older, then there may also be a lot to learn about his emotional recovery.

Your Loved One May Suffer From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A recent study published in General Hospital Psychiatry found that:

  • People over the age of 65 may suffer symptoms of PTSD after a fall.
  • Symptoms of PTSD occurred in more than one-quarter of study participants who had been hospitalized after their falls.
  • PTSD symptoms often occurred within the first few days after a fall.
  • The most common PTSD symptoms reported in this study included sleep problems, feeling distraught when thinking about the accident, and changes in future hopes or plans.
  • People who suffered back or chest injuries from falls were more likely to suffer PTSD.

The recovery from PTSD, like the recovery from physical injuries, is unique to the individual who was hurt.

Help Raise Awareness About This Risk

If it is your loved one who has been hurt and you notice PTSD symptoms, then please discuss your concerns with your loved one and his doctor. Additionally, we encourage you to share this blog post with others who may have loved ones at high risk of falling. You can help raise awareness about this issue and encourage people who suffer from PTSD after falls to get the help that they need to recover.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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