Essential Fall Prevention Tips For Seniors

Staying Safe At Home: Essential Prevention Tips For Seniors

July 28, 2023 1:46 pm Published by

People age naturally as they get older since it’s a natural element of life that leads to the most profound experiences. However, as they age, they inevitably go through mental, emotional, and physical changes that can influence their perceptions of their surroundings. 

Truthfully, ageing brings more knowledge that leads people to a better understanding. Still, the concern about safety and a person’s quality of life at such a crucial moment is brought up. 

And with that in mind, let’s delve into this article with the purpose of discussing the myriad facets of being senior and different ways to ensure one’s health by taking proactive measures.

The Reality of Fall Risks For Seniors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 65 (older adults) are highly susceptible to falls, one of the most common causes of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Moreover, 29.0 million falls were reported in 2014, representing 28.7% of the elderly population. 

The risk of falling and the associated problems are connected during the elderly years. Falling is a common fear among older adults, even if they have never fallen. Because of this fear, they may avoid activities such as strolling or socialising.

Hazardous Environmental Conditions

Most falls among seniors occur in or around their homes. A senior’s safety may be compromised by factors such as bad lighting, clutter, disrepair, loose carpets, slippery floors, and the absence of safety equipment such as grab bars, ramps, and lifts. 

As a result of unsafe living conditions, older adults are at risk of falling and sustaining injuries, thus limiting their ability to remain independent as they age.

Health Conditions

Falls are most likely caused by medical conditions that impair balance, physical stamina, joint integrity, or cognitive functions, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis.

An individual’s initial risk of falling increases with poor physical condition, which also minimises their capacity to detect hazards and recover from mishaps like tripping or slipping. 

Lack of Physical Activity

The physical impact of ageing worsens because most adults become less active as they age.

Lack of even little activity regularly leads to sarcopenia, diminished bone mass, poor balance and coordination, and reduced flexibility. 

Deconditioning raises a senior’s chance of falling and the possibility that they will suffer a catastrophic injury and have a more challenging time recovering.

Medications

A senior’s risk of falling increases due to a range of medications. Side effects such as sleepiness, vertigo, and low blood pressure can all cause accidents. The most frequent culprits include sedatives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioids, and some cardiovascular drugs. 

According to a study on polypharmacy, 39% of the elderly consume five or more prescription drugs. Polypharmacy has a high percentage of increasing the probability of drug reactions that cause falls. 

Always remember that nutritional supplements and over-the-counter medicines can both have potent adverse effects and synergistic consequences.

Essential Fall Preventions

Making your home safe is the first step towards preventing falls, but it doesn’t mean remodelling the entire house. You can make your home secure against falls with simple and practical adjustments. 

Below are three tips provided by elder care experts for avoiding falls at home:

Preventive Exercise Program

Numerous community centres, fitness centres, and healthcare organisations provide exercise programs for senior citizens focused on reducing falls.

These training routines emphasise muscle growth and balance enhancement. 

Wear Comfortable Shoes

It’s comforting to wear socks. But they also pose a risk of slipping. It may be as simple as wearing shoes to prevent falls at home.

However, if the shoes are uncomfortable, you may also buy nonslip socks with grips on your feet. 

Single-Story Home

The threat of falling can be extremely dangerous when using stairs, even with safety measures like guardrails. “If at all possible, live on one level,” stated Kaplan.

But then again, if you can’t live on one level, try to minimise your steps up and down the stairs as you walk toward your room. 

How Home Care Services Can Help

Home care services play a significant role in supporting the needs of elderly people, promoting their well-being, and providing them with comfort and familiarity with living at home. 

The services include a comprehensive range of assistance tailored to the individual’s needs, which are:

A crucial challenge is preventing falls among older people, which requires a multidisciplinary approach. Additionally, preventing accidents has implications for society, not just individuals. Thus, to protect the safety of elderly people, support for home care services and professional caregivers is essential. 

Providing the seniors with the utmost tenderness and care can empower them to become more confident and independent as they improve themselves along the way.

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