Seniors suffer from falls each year. At times, poor health that causes the falls also cause brittle bones, thin skin, persistent bleeding and other complications that make falling worse. It is a common concern in nursing homes and at home. It is estimated that a third of seniors fall every year. The risk of falling increases every 10 years. A host of injuries can occur to a senior who falls. In some instances, falls can prove fatal. Given the serious consequences that seniors face when they fall, it’s all the more important to prevent their falls from occurring in the first place. The good news is that many of the falls that occur can be prevented. Physical Causes of Falls Because some falls can occur due to poor health, improving a senior’s health can help to prevent falls. Weak legs can a cause of falls. Doing exercises, like walking or Tai Chi, can help to improve strength, balance and gait, which leads to less falls. Another common cause of falls is the result of poor vision. While it may not be possible to outright correct the eyes, it is possible to change other circumstances. For instance, a senior should be seen regularly to check their eyesight. Investing in new eyeglasses can make eyesight better. At Home Many falls occur in the home. This means that if things are changed in the home, several falls can be avoided. For instance, clutter and other tripping hazards are oftentimes the cause of falls. Move electrical cords, boxes or furniture that is blocking pathways in the home. Poor lighting can also affect visibility. Check furniture to make sure it is stable. Loose rugs can also cause seniors to fall. These can be secured on the underside with special adhesives or foam shelving liner. Railings should be placed in the bathroom next to the toilet and the bathtub. Other Causes for Falls Things like medication can cause seniors to fall because they produce side effects, like drowsiness and dizziness. It would be prudent for a doctor or a pharmacist to explain possible side effects and what a senior should do after taking the medication. For instance, it would be wise to remain sitting after taking a medication that normally causes dizziness. In the event there is a fall, it would be wise for a senior to have a medical alert mechanism. This can help a senior to get help and recover more quickly.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013 September, 13). Preventing Falls Among Older Adults. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/Features/OlderAmericans/ Parentgiving. (2015). Preventing Falls: Five Dangers That Affect Seniors’ Stability. Retrieved from http://www.parentgiving.com/elder-care/preventing-falls-five-dangers-seniors/