Why do we need to protect seniors and elderly people from falling? Is it just to avoid embarrassment? Of course not. Fall prevention is very important for elderly people, so that they stay active and healthy. There are several cases every year in which ageing people are rushed to the emergency due to a severe fall. Some falls can be fatal. They also might cause injuries which may not kill but can change their lives forever.
The impact of a fall in a person who is in his 30’s is much different than the person who is in his 60s. Even if it’s a simple fall, it can largely affect the mobility of a person. God forbid, if the bones break as a result of a fall, it will take years to heal and, in some cases, may not heal altogether.
Seniors are prone to falling for several reasons and that’s why, along with them, their family members too need to be careful and see to it that all measures are taken to avoid a fall. One of the common reasons why seniors fall is because their balance is not as good as it used to be. At times, they may feel dizzy due to certain medication. Also, if they suddenly get up after lying down for a long time, they tend to get disbalanced. Some seniors may not have adequate muscle strength to stand for long or to walk properly.
Hip fractures, twisted wrists, broken arms and elbows, head injuries are some of the common consequences of a fall in the elderly people. You might notice many seniors already have a fear of falling. This could be due to the fact that they have fallen years back and are aware of the aftermaths. However, if you notice your ageing parents are too cautious and losing confidence to move, cheer them and restore their confidence so that they don’t lose their mobility.
Here’s what ageing people need to do to prevent frequent falls:
1. Exercise Regularly:
Exercising increases the strength of legs, which improves balance. If one develops a habit of cycling or playing a sport at a young age, which they can continue till the old age, it definitely helps in the long run
2. Check the Medicines:
If one feel drowsy and dizzy all the time, they must consult their physician. Some medications may have such effect and upon controlling the dosage, the situation can get better.
3. Vision Check:
Vision problems are not uncommon. With age, vision tends to get weaker. So, a regular check-up is recommended. With the up to date lens, seniors can prevent falls that might otherwise happen due to poor visibility or blurry vision.
Using anti slippery mats in areas like kitchen or bathroom may help in preventing falls in seniors. Also, it should be checked that there are no loose or hanging wires, over which they might falter. If there are stairs in the house, the hand rails should be checked, and uneven steps need to be fixed immediately. Also, wet floors should be avoided. So,if there’s any spillage, it must be cleaned at once.
Seniors need to be more careful in the bathroom as the floors tend to be wet. They must take support after coming out of the shower. That is why, the bathrooms should have solid grab bars in the right areas.
Shoes make a lot of difference and can prevent falls. It’s not recommended for elderly people to wear ordinary slippers, instead they must wear special ones, meant for their age that have proper grip.
Ageing people must stay in well lit areas. During night time, it’s ideal to put a small dim light. In case, if they need to get up , they can still see things around them and it’s not completely dark.
Overall the house should be clutter free, so that chances of tripping is minimised.
Remember, for seniors, fall prevention means injury prevention. So, the family must ensure that they are following the above tips and lead a healthy life, with no after-effects of a fall. If required, hire an attendant, who will help your parents when they need to move about. Having a support always helps.