Preventing Falls in Aging Seniors
Falling is a major concern, especially for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of people over the age of 65 suffer falls every year. Statistics show that one in five falls causes serious injury and more than 800,000 people wind up in the hospital yearly.
So what can be done to prevent falls?
Serious Results of Falls
While some falls do not cause injuries, many people suffer serious problems from a fall, including death. A fall can cause broken bones like hip fractures and head injuries. People who are prone to falling may start to curtail their activities for fear of falling again. Ironically, as they become less active they become weak – which can increase the risk of falling. An experienced in-home caregiver from a reputable
Why Some People Fall
There is a long list of conditions and situations that can lead to falling. These issues can be especially common in older adults. Often a combination of risks
If your aging loved one has experienced a fall, chances are they may fall again. Going over this list and rectifying the situation may help prevent another fall.
Troublewith balance and walking
- Vision problems
- Household hazards, such as throw rugs, lack of handrails in the bathroom or on the stairs, or uneven steps
- Medication like tranquilizers or
over-the- counterproducts that affect balance
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Poor footwear or foot pain
- Weakness in the lower body
How to Prevent Falls
The CDC makes some recommendations to help your loved one avoid falling. Remove clutter to avoid tripping over items in the home, add grab bars in the bathroom and on the stairs, and check to make sure that lighting is adequate. You can ask the doctor to evaluate the risk by reviewing your aging parent’s medication list to find out if any prescription or over-the-counter drugs cause drowsiness or dizziness. The doctor may also recommend Vitamin D supplements. Strength and balance exercises like those practiced in Tai Chi can improve balance and counteract weakness in the legs. A yearly eye exam can update your loved one’s glasses prescription, and it may be advisable to get rid of bifocals or progressive lenses in favor of separate glasses for distance and reading.
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