Falls

How To Effectively Prevent More Falls For Seniors

Fall Statistics

Our seniors are prone to frequent falls, which can in many cases turn fatal. According to the statistic estimates. About one in every 4 American seniors fall every year. Falls are a common problem and can happen to anyone, anywhere. But, they are more common for our seniors. And the associated injuries are extremely serious in the majority of the cases.
Our seniors are at a risk of suffering from hip fractures, head injuries as well as broken bones when they fall. In addition, if a senior has successfully survived a fall without any major injuries. They still become fearful and depressed, and gradually begin to lead an inactive lifestyle.

Factors that lead to a fall

  • Balance
As we age, there is a significant decrease in the body’s balance. Along with balance, there is a lack of coordination as well as a decrease in body’s flexibility. All these factors make our seniors more prone to frequent falls.
  • Poor vision
With age, there is also a reduction in the vision. And our seniors also develop various vision problems, that interfere with their sight. Poor sight yet again becomes a major culprit for frequent falls.
  • Chronic disease conditions
Our seniors are also receptive to chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and stroke. These conditions are the biggest causes of depression, inactivity, and loss of function. Which in a way increase the risk of falling.
  • Medications
Chronic degenerative diseases demand a wide range of medications for its effective management. Medications have several side effects. Such as dizziness, drowsiness, dehydration or even drug interactions which can lead to falls.

Steps to reduce falls in seniors

As explained, with age, our seniors become more prone to falls. Which becomes one of the major reasons for their loss of independence. Helping them with certain simple measures to prevent falls, will go a long way in making our seniors lead a healthy life. Following these 6 steps would certainly reduce the risk of falling:
  • Step 1: Talk to your doctor
If medications or illness is causing your elderly to fall often. Then the doctor is the best person to help you with it. Make a list of all the medications that your elderly loved one is taking and make a visit to your doctor. With the list, your doctor would be able to decide which medications your loved ones need to stop. Furthermore, certain eye, as well as ear disorders, can also lead to falls in our seniors. The doctor would also want to check their balance, muscle strength and the gait. All these would help in analyzing the risk of falls.
  • Step 2: Physical activity
Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve balance, muscle strength. Thereby giving an assurance of fall reduction. In case, your loved one is afraid of performing exercises, then it is best to let the doctor know. The doctor will then recommend some carefully monitored exercise or seated exercises. This will help in reducing the risk of falls. Some of the exercises to consider include walking, tai chi, or certain gentle movements.
  • Step 3: Wear the right shoes
You need to wisely select the best shoes for your elderly loved ones. Shoes can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to providing support and comfort to the feet. However, poor fitting, slippery or uncomfortable shoes are also one of the major reasons for falls amongst the elderly population. Furthermore, selecting the proper footwear would also aid in reducing their joint pain.
  • Step 4: Light, light and more light
As already stated, poor vision increases the risk of falls. Therefore, it is advisable that the living space is lit up as much as possible. Bedroom, hallway and the bathroom should have proper lighting. So, that your loved one can see properly even during late evening and night hours. In addition, lights should be on when climbing up or down the stairs. It is never advisable to use the stairs without proper lighting. A fall from the stairs can even cost a life. And therefore, it is wise to never allow your senior parent to climb the stairs without proper light. Also, it is also necessary that you keep flashlights handy and in places where your parents can have easy access. Flashlights are helpful in situations when the power goes off.
  • Step 5: Clear away the home hazards
In order to prevent frequent falls, it is necessary that you make your home safer for your aging parents. Remove all unnecessary clutter and home hazards. You need to make the following modifications to make your home safer for your parents.
  • Remove all stands, tables, and racks from walkways. These articles, if not removed from high traffic areas, can cause your parent to trip and fall.
  • Remove all rugs, newspapers, phone and electrical cords from walkways.
  • Clean up spilled liquids, and greasy foods should immediately.
  • Install antislip mats near the bathroom. You also need to purchase a bath chair, so that your parent can sit while bathing.
  • Step 6: Assisted devices:
Assisted devices, such as walkers and cane, often become a common accompaniment of old age. If your parents are suffering from arthritis or any form of the joint disorder. then doctors may suggest assisted devices. However, you also need to make some modifications in your home. by way of installing certain devices. Some examples of some such devices include.
  • Grab bars
  • Elevated toilet seats
  • Bath chair
  • handrails, etc.

Tips, to make your home fall-proof for your beloved seniors, Install:

  • Grab bars in the bathroom
  • A raised toilet seat for your aging parents who are suffering from joint pain or arthritis.
  • Handrails on both sides of the stairways.
  • A strong bath chair for bathing.
  • A hand-held shower nozzle, so that your parent can easily bathe while sitting comfortably on the seat.

Conclusion

Old age is certainly not an easy journey for our aging seniors. Falls are a common problem of old age, which makes the journey all the more difficult.
Finally, as a responsible caregiver. It becomes our prime duty, to help our seniors age gracefully by keeping them healthy. By following the above-mentioned fall prevention strategies. We can significantly reduce the chances of falls and prevent fatal and life risky injuries. For more information, check out this site. Also, check out this past post on falling.

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