Falling can cause serious injuries in seniors. The risk of falling will increase with age. Starting at age 65 the chances for falling become much more severe compared to that of someone a younger age. As the person becomes older than 80, the chances of falling almost doubles to that of someone 65 or older. Broken and fractured bones are more common in seniors that fall. Prevention for falls throughout the home is the first way to eliminate the injuries associated with falling. However, if you have suffered from a fall and are dismissing it entirely, you should consider speaking with your healthcare provider. They can determine the cause of the fall and even provide guidance for the future, so it doesn’t happen again.
There are risk factors associated with senior falling. By knowing if you have one or more of these risk factors, you can prepare yourself by eliminating any of the problems so a fall does not happen.
- Side effects from medication
- Having poor or limited mobility
- Problems with vision or equilibrium
- Hazards in the environment and with particular situations such as being in a hurry or not having handrails for stability
If you, or someone you know has suffered from a fall, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. While the senior may feel a bit weak, bruised and tired; there may be further problems that are not apparent. Some of the important factors for speaking with your doctor regarding any falls you’ve had recently include, but are not limited too:
- Hip, leg, ankle, arm and other fractures are common with falls. While you may just feel a little sore, serious underlaying problems may be an issue.
- Your overall health and well-being can be affected by a serious fall.
- Falls may be a sign of other health conditions that have yet to be diagnosed and treated.
- Vision problems may need to be addressed due to the fall.
- Problems with medications could have caused the fall, leading the doctor to change the medication or dosage you’re currently taking.
There are also ways to prevent falling, which you can speak with your physician about. The physician may be able to recommend additional ways to prevent falling from happen. Protecting yourself against these falls can be the first step required to keeping yourself safe.
- Installing railings and side bars to places where falls happen most such as down stairs or in showers.
- Connecting rugs and other flooring completely to the bottom floor so they do not come up or move.
- Keep the living space free of clutter and open.
- Speaking with your doctor regarding the risk factors that you have associated with the medications you’re currently taking.
- Staying physically active to improve strength, balance and coordination.
- Using a medical alert product for safety reasons, in case something did happen and no one was around to help.
- Use these tips for preventing falls in the future.
By knowing your risk factors, ways to prevent falling and why you should speak with your physician regarding previous falls, you’re setting yourself up for additional safety that may be necessary. Preventing injuries associated with falls can benefit you in the long run, and allow you to love a longer, happier life.