One of the greatest but often overlooked health threats we face as we get older is falling. As we age, we are much more prone to falling than when we were younger. What’s more, the dangers and risks of those falls are greater as well, all of which makes Falls Prevention in the elderly so important.
“Seniors are at a higher risk of falling than younger people because in general they are more frail. With age comes a decrease in muscle tone, eyesight deterioration, slower reflexes, and more brittle bones.”
Because many elderly people have osteoporosis, when they fall their bones are much more likely to break, causing painful fractures, back pain, and other problems. Plus, those bones take much longer to heal when they are brittle — all reasons for putting some focus on preventing falls.
Another factor that leads to falling problems in the elderly is medication side effects — some common drugs can cause dizziness and impair balance, another reason that strategies for fall prevention in the elderly are vital. Blood-thinning medications create an additional hazard. “The problem with these generally helpful medications is that if you take a tumble and injure yourself, these medications can cause excessive bleeding. “This is especially dangerous if you hit your head during a fall.”
According to a recent review of 111 individual studies with over 55,000 participants, the risk of falling for those over the age of 65 in any given year is about 30 percent.
What’s more, about 20 percent of those falls will require medical attention; fortunately, less than 10 percent will result in a fracture.
The problem is even greater in nursing homes. “Nursing home residents have a fall rate of 1.7 falls per person per year,”
Certain types of falls have more serious consequences than others. “In the case of hip fracture victims, studies show that as many as a quarter die within a year of falling, and almost two-thirds lose the ability to perform day-to-day tasks without assistance,
Tips for Preventing Falls
There are a few simple strategies you can take for preventing falls as well as the back pain, fractures, and other medical issues that can accompany falls.
Try these steps for fall prevention in the elderly:
- Ask your doctor or a health care provider about Falls prevention classes in your area .
- Assess any potential hazzards in your home and correct them to reduce the risks of falling.
- Ask your doctor if any specific medications can be changed or eliminated if they affect your balance.
- Ask your doctor if cataract surgery or a pacemaker might be appropriate for fall prevention.
- Wear anti-slip shoes in wet or icy conditions for preventing falls. or anti slip slipper`s around the home
It is much easier to focus on preventing falls than to recover from the serious consequences of a fall. Working with your doctor on a prevention strategy will protect your quality of life and boost longivity