Fall prevention

Posted on September 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Approximately one out four senior citizens will have a fall this year. 1.6 million Seniors will go to the emergency room with a fall related injury. Falls are the number one cause of broken bones, loss of independence and accidental death among seniors.

Hip fractures are one of the most common injuries resulting from a fall and only half the seniors are able to return home without assistance afterwards.

The fear of falling actually causes many seniors to avoid physical activity such as walking or other exercise. This is unfortunate because physical exercise will in many cases help prevent falls. If someone is concerned about falling they should speak with their doctor and work on some physical therapy designed to prevent falls.

All falls should be acknowledged and discussed with your doctor. Even if you’re not hurt, a fall may be a sign of a risk factor such as changes in blood pressure, eyesight, diabetes or even a side effect from a medication you are taking.

In addition to health issues, other fall risk factors may be attributed to hazards in the person’s environment. Postural Hypotension is a condition where blood pressure drops when you get up from a lying or sitting position. This can cause dizziness and increase your risk of falling. Many things can contribute to postural hypotension such as dehydration, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or an infection.

Some non-health risk factors include: unsafe footwear, insufficient corrective lenses, poor lighting or even loose or uneven rugs in your house. Certain types of floors may be slippery or cause you to trip. Remove any unsafe furniture or electrical cords. Handrails and grab bars should be installed in areas requiring balance or support. Seniors should never get on a ladder, step stool or chair to reach something.

Using a cane or walker can also help prevent falls. Your physician can assist you in identifying the proper device. In certain cases, purchasing a home monitoring system that you wear will allow you to call for help in the event of a fall.

Eating healthy won’t prevent falls, but maintaining muscle and bone strength can help prevent the extent of injuries resulting from a fall. Consumption of adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D is a good idea for people over 50.

Being aware of risks and taking a few simple safety precautions can help avoid falls and fall related injuries.

**Article written and provided by SENIOR HELPERS OF SOLANA BEACH 858.523.9170


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One Response to “Fall prevention”

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Indeed falls are of major concern for seniors and preventing them is a concern for their caregivers. As you said, the fear of falling can often prevent people from going about their daily routine. This is unfortunate but can be remedied by increasing the safety of their surroundings with grab bars, non slip mats, seats, bath lifts, and even shoes with propor tread. Of course more serious modifications may need to be considered, such as the removal of stairs. As you said, becoming aware of the dangers is half of the solution!


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