As we age, the fear of falling becomes top of mind. Often, this fear keeps older adults from everyday activities such as visiting with friends, shopping or going for a walk.
Fear of falling can lead to a reduction in activity that affects a senior’s health. The good news is that seniors can ease this fear and remain both physically and socially active by understanding the facts related to falls and practicing a few fall prevention guidelines.
If you have elderly parents, chances are they have already had a fall or two, and the reality is that they will fall again. Helping them now to prevent falls can save a trip to the hospital, and maybe their life. It’s also an excellent time to talk with your parents to create a plan should they fall.
If you’re a senior and know exactly what we’re talking about, take comfort in knowing you can prevent falls. It’s also a good idea for you to discuss a plan with your family, neighbor or close friends you can contact should you ever fall and need help.
Little things most people might not consider as potentially dangerous can be a threat to a senior’s safety. They mean well but might overestimate what they can do safely, such as reaching for something on a high shelf, which can cause a fall. We can help will fall and injury prevention by having a caregiver visit a few times a week to help your mom or dad with errands such as grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments and keeping the home hazard-free. This takes a big load off of your parents while minimizing falls. The peace of mind is priceless.
Whether your senior is a high-octane octagenarian who just needs a hand, someone confined to bed who needs a little more help, or a person dealing with life-long disabilities who needs someone to walk beside them on their journey, we’re here to care with whole hearts and open arms.
First, understand the facts related to falls
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of people ages 65 and older fall each year, making falls the leading cause of injury in this age group. More than one in four older people fall each year, but less than half tell their doctor. And falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
Know the risk factors
Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors, and the more risk factors a person has, the higher their chances of falling.
According to the CDC, these risk factors include:
• Lower body weakness
• Vitamin D deficiency
• Difficulties with walking and balance
• Use of medicines
• Vision problems
• Foot pain or poor footwear
• Home hazards or dangers
• Not getting enough sleep