According to the World Health Organization, falls are the second primary cause of accidental injury deaths globally. Adults over 65 years of age are the most affected and suffer the highest number of fatal falls; others suffer life-changing injuries like fissures, internal injuries and even traumatic brain injury.
Sometimes, people fear to fall and end up losing confidence that might lead to restricted activities. For seniors and family caregivers, understanding the risk factors of falls and how to prevent them is essential.
What Causes People to Fall?
There are various things that contribute to the risk of falling. These include;
- Visual impairment
- Medications that affect the central nervous system
- Cognitive impairment
- Weakening muscles and hardening joints
- Alcohol use
- Environmental factors like uneven surfaces and poor lighting
- History of falls
- Recently discharged from hospital
- Metabolic factors like vitamin D and calcium deficiency and dehydration
- Acute illnesses
- Urinary or fecal incontinence and urgency
How to Prevent Falls
Falls are preventable. Most seniors tend to avoid certain activities due to the fear of falling. There are some steps you can take to make sure that high fall risk people are safe.
Remove tripping hazards
Home furniture can be trip hazards. Check every room and look for items like loose carpets, loose wood floorboards, and slippery throw rugs. You can remove, repair, or replace them. Also, use non-strip rugs in your bathrooms and remove anything that is in the walkways.
Use assistive devices
Grab rails and grab bars offer assistance when going up and downstairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the tub. Install grab bars in your loved one’s bathrooms and toilets to ensure safety. Additionally, install handrails in stairways and hallways to prevent falls. Additionally, make sure you tighten any loose handrails to make it safer for use.
Avoid loose clothes
Make sure that the person is not wearing clothes that are too long. Long dresses or gowns can cause the person to trip over.
Poor lighting is one of the leading causes of falls. Make sure that the environment is well lit. Install brighter light bulbs when needed, especially in stairways and narrow hallways.
Choose non-skid, low-heeled, and rubber-soled shoes to fully support the feet. Make sure that the person doesn’t walk on floors with slippery shoes or socks. Buy non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet if the person finds shoes uncomfortable.
Keep the seniors active
An active senior is steadier than an inactive one. Keep the seniors active through light exercise, stretching, or just regular walking. Exercise aids in keeping stabilizing muscles resilient hence avoiding falls.
If the person has balance problems, consider a physical appointment for balance and posture evaluation. The physical therapist might recommend the use of walking aids or suitable exercise.
Seek medical attention
A fall can be caused by an underlying illness. Accompany your loved one to the examination room and make sure to disclose every detail of the fall.
Falls Can be Prevented
The best way to reduce and prevent both anticipated psychological fall risk, accidental falls, and unanticipated psychological falls is by monitoring the person. Although it can be hard to start a conversation with a high fall risk person, remember that prevention is better. Take quick measures to avoid a fall to start with. Visit Medical Supply Depot for high quality assistive devices today!