Fall of Seniors/Elders
Thousands of seniors fall down every year due to various reasons. Falls are leading causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries among elders especially those who have crossed 65 years of age.
The statistics are as follows:
- 20-30%seniors those fall down suffers from various injuries including head trauma, broken bones, and other wounds
- 13% of elders fall due to medication effects like dizziness or vertigo.
- In America, each year 1 in 4 elders aged above 65 years fall down
- An older adult treated for fall in every 11 seconds
- An elder dies in every 19 minutes due to fall
Types of Fall
There are several reasons for falling down by elders. The following are the most common reason for falling down.
Reasons for Falling Down By Elders
It is due to cluttered living space at and around the bed. We have seen many times that the living space of elders are not neat and clean and things are scattered here and there. The unorganised things are the one of the reasons for falling down.
Health-based falls can be identified as Medication side effects. When health deteriorates the elders may fall down.
The sudden change of Blood sugar level and change in blood pressure may cause for falling down.
Sudden Turn of Events
Sudden or occasional events. It may be due to loss of closed relatives including spouse or loss of finance may cause for falling down.
Factors Determine Fall of Elders
1. Vision Change
Change in one’s vision can cause for falling down of elders.
2. Balance Issue
Due to the shifting of body weight in one leg
Walking and getting down from upstairs
Tying shoes can cause Balance issues
3. New Medication of Elders
Side effects of a new medication.
Dizziness for medication
4. Chronic Health Conditions
Cardiovascular disease or Parkinson’s disease
5. Cognitive Impairment
Disease like Alzheimer’s and dementia cause postural instability and balance issues.
Head trauma can also cause Cognitive Impairment
6. Poor Home Safety
Cluttered living place
Excessive items covered in living space
Consequences of Falls
The consequences of falls by the elderly person may vary from person to person and depends upon the gravity of injuries. The general consequences are:
- Memory Loss
- Brain injury
- Bladder incontinence
- Balance issues
The symptoms may appear suddenly or after a week or later. These also sometimes results in
- Social isolation
- Decreased independence
- Decreases in strength and endurance
- Increased risk for further injuries from falling
How to Prevent Falls By Elders
It may not possible to eliminate chances of falling entirely but we can take effective preventive actions.
1. Get Periodical Check-Up
Periodical checking of vision and hearing of elders may prevent falling down. Consultation with Medical Practitioners with reference earlier health history with medical prescription will reduce the risk of falling down.
2. Stay Active and Healthy
Encourage elders to do low impact exercises to keep balance, reflexes, muscles, and bones sharp.
Eating healthy food rich in calcium and Vitamin D reduces bone loss and bone fractures.
3. Removing all tripping hazards from each room
Removal of slippery surfaces reduces the chance of falling down.
4. Lighten Up
The dark areas of the home may brighten up. Most of the cases the elders have limited visions and which is normal light for a younger person, it may not be same for elder persons.
5. Use assistive devices for elders
Uses of assistive devices for a walk can reduce the fall.
Where ever possible non-slip stair treads, handrails, and other assisted device helps to reduce falling down.
Is there any other reasons for falling down by seniors/elders.