As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to injuries and health problems; preventing senior falls is a top priority as falls are one of the top issues facing seniors. Falls are a common problem among older adults, in fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in four older adults fall each year. And, as the older population continues to grow each year, the problem will only become more significant.
There are a number of reasons that seniors, in particular, are more prone to harmful falls that cause injuries than their younger counterparts. For example, poor eyesight, lack of balance, and medications can all cause seniors to fall more frequently. Moreover, lower bone density related to aging can make these falls cause more damage than if a younger person fell.
While falls will inevitably happen and many seniors will end up in the hospital, they are largely preventable if you take the correct precautionary steps. There are a number of quick lifestyle changes that you or your loved one can make to greatly reduce the chances of a fall.
Preventing Senior Falls
Many may think falls are an obvious part of life, and to some extent, this is true as accidents do happen, there are a number of things that you can do to improve your chances of not falling. There are also a few lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce the
A few things that you can do to reduce your chances of falls include the following:
Staying Physically Active — Having an exercise program in place and getting the blood flowing regularly can help to improve a number of physical functions in the body including muscle function, joint health, flexibility, and more. Mild weight exercises can help to improve strength while things like yoga and aquatic exercises can help improve joint health and flexibility.
Keep Your Vision and Hearing Healthy — Getting your vision and hearing tested regularly can help decrease your chances of falling. Getting eyeglasses or contact lenses and using them will obviously help you see better and avoid trips that can lead to harmful falls.
Learn About The Side Effects Of Medication — Seniors are prescribed numerous medications, in fact about 40 percent of seniors are prescribed more than 5 medications. While these can help them deal with whatever ailments they may be affected by, they are also something that can increase rate of falls due to side effects. If you or a loved one is prescribed many medications, be sure to check to see if the drug causes sleepiness or dizziness and tell your doctor if necessary.
Limit Alcohol Consumption — Everyone knows that alcohol can lead to a number of different issues related to cognitive functioning and physical abilities. Even consuming just a small amount of alcohol can affect your balance and reflexes. According to the National Institute of Aging, studies have shown the the rate of hip fractures among older adults increases with alcohol use.
Keep Your Home Clean — Keeping the home clean and decluttered is a great way to avoid tripping over items like clothing and other items. You should also make sure that your home is well-lit, it will help you or your loved one navigate their residence more safely.
Improve Bone Strength — While improving bone strength may not help prevent falls, it can help make falls less dangerous and harmful. It can even help to prevent breaking a hip or another bone. Be sure that you are giving enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet to keep your bones strong. Similarly, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol use will help as those activities work to decrease bone mass.
What To Do If Your Loved One Falls
If you are at home or another location and experience a fall, the best thing you can do is stay as calm as possible. To help stay calm, you can take several deep breaths and remain on the ground for a few moments, dealing with the problem in this way will help you get over any initial shock that you may be dealing with.
Before getting up, decide if you are hurt. Getting up too quickly may make the injury worse. But, if you think you can get up safely without help you can roll over on your side and slowly get to your hands and knees and crawl to a sturdy surface.
If you are hurt and cannot get yourself up, ask someone for help or call 911. If you are alone, get into a comfortable position and wait for help. Unfortunately, this may take some time, this is why it is best to get a wearable device that can reach out to emergency services in the case of a fall.
Trips and falls are serious issues that affect millions of seniors every year. According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a quarter of older adults falls each year. Unfortunately, these falls turn into injuries, hospitalizations, and even deaths. There are a number of age-related problems that can increase your chances of falling. For instance, poor vision, impaired hearing, and side effects from medications can all increase chances of falling. Decreased bone density will make it more likely that your loved one will suffer as well. Moreover, falling once doubles your chances of falling again which is why individuals need to be preventing senior falls from the start.
Many age-related issues can increase someone’s chances of falling and these problems can, unfortunately, cause several other problems with day-to-day life. If your loved one is dealing with any of these potential issues, it may be best to seek the help of an assisted living facility. Landmark Senior Living in Hobbs New Mexico is one facility that can help your loved one as they move on to this next chapter in their lives. Landmark offers a number of different care services, including memory care to help those who are dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders. If you would like to learn more about what Landmark has to offer, you can visit our website today and reach out to schedule a free tour.