The number of falls that occur for seniors each year is staggering – one out of three individuals over the age of 65 may experience a fall each year. It is crucial for all older adults to understand the dynamics and benefits of fall prevention.
Factors that lead to falls
Seniors are susceptible to falls for a number of different reasons – bad balance, poor eyesight, light headedness, overall weakness and fragility. Falls represent a serious health risk for seniors.
As a result of brittle bones and slow reflexes, these falls are often serious, resulting in broken hips or, by trying to break their fall, injured arms or wrists.
Medications can have an affect on falling as well. Some common medications that are responsible for falls are:
Blood pressure medications
Tranquilizers and muscle relaxers.
Falls are a serious concern
The statistics from the CDC about falls paint a picture of the seriousness of this issue for older adults.
One in every three adults 65 and older fall each year
Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths in seniors
Falls are the most common cause of injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
Falls account for 87 percent of all fractures for people 65+.
60 percent of fatal falls in seniors happen at home
Hip fractures cause the greatest number of deaths from falls
Half of all older adults hospitalized for hip fractures cannot return home or live independently after their injuries.
Many elderly people, due to the physical problems associated with aging and precautions they have failed to take at home, are accidents waiting to happen.
Reducing the likelihood of falls involves taking precautions in the home, where a majority of the falls occur. Many falls are the result of:
Clutter – Items that can be easily tripped over such as papers, books, electrical cords, clothes and shoes create dangerous hazards.
Rugs – Scattered rugs that can bunch up or stick up at the edges. Double-sided adhesive tape is effective to keep rugs flat.
Poor lighting – Many people hope to save money by scrimping on lighting. Good lighting is particularly important for seniors who often have decreased vision. A night light is also important should your loved one get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
Bathroom dangers – Mats in the bathtub and shower floors that may skid, puddles of water on the floor.
Shoes – Walking in shoes with worn-out soles may skid on wet floors, and slippers without backs can trip up older adults.
Lack of support – Handrails on all staircases and grab bars in the bathtub and near the toilet can help to prevent a wide range of falls.
In-home care offers a big help in fall prevention. The professional caregivers at NuevaCare are trained in fall prevention, and are adept at helping your loved one stay safe by doing hazard checks and offering suggestions to change the environment in ways that will prevent potential disasters.
To learn more about NuevaCare, simply give us a call at 415-494-8175 or start a conversation using the chat box to the right. A highly trained professional from our office will contact you immediately to discuss your specific needs and to set up an free in home assessment.