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Falls in Older Individuals

Falls are common among older individuals. Once someone has had a fall, there is a higher chance they will fall once more. However, the fear of falling can take over their life. They might start to worry about doing their usual activities and therefore lose their sureness and even their independence. Knowing what causes falls will enable older individuals to fight their fears and decrease their risk of falling.

 

Causes

Falls can be caused by a number of different factors. Such as, physical conditions that impair quality or balance, hazards within the setting, or dangerous scenarios.

 

Physical impairments that increase the chance of a fall:

  • Trouble with balance or walking
  • Poor vision
  • Numbness in the feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Blood pressure or irregular heartbeat

 

Dangers within the environment are a large cause of falls. Falls might occur when individuals do not notice the hazard or do not act quickly enough after the problem is detected.

Environmental hazards that increase the chance of falling:

  • Insufficient lighting
  • Loose rugs
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Electrical cords or objects within the path of walking

 

Prevention

Here is a list of some things older individuals can do to help reduce the chance of falling:

  • Balancing exercises (supervision may be necessary) like standing on one leg will improve stability. Several senior centers provide free or inexpensive group exercise classes tailored specifically for senior’s needs.

 

  • Wearing appropriate footwear. Shoes that have a firm grip, support your ankles, and flat heels are safest.

 

  • Standing up slowly when transitioning from sitting or lying down and taking a while before beginning to move.

 

  • Having vision checked regularly and wearing glasses with the proper prescription. Treatment of eye conditions that limit vision, may also help.

 

Hazards within the home should typically be removed or corrected.

  • Lighting is improved by increasing the number of lights or changing the type of lights used. Adequate lighting for stairways and outside areas used in the dark is important. Steps must have durable and secure handrails.

 

  • Grab bars are installed beside toilets, tubs, and different places for those who would like something to hold onto to get on their feet.

 

  • Loose throw rugs should either be removed, taped down, or should have nonslip backings.

 

  • Frequently used home items should be kept in reachable areas between waist and eye level, so they can be reached without stretching or bending.

 

Learning the way to safely handle possibly dangerous situations is beneficial. Pay attention to potential hazards and consider ways to accomplish daily tasks a lot safer.

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