Among the most overlooked, but harmful health threats seniors face as they age is falling. According to the National Council on Aging Care, some falls come with more severe consequences than other kinds of falls. For example, studies have shown that approximately 25% of victims of hip fractures pass away within one year of their falling incident, while about 66% lose their ability to do their daily activities without proper assistance.
Why Most Seniors Fall
As people age, they become more susceptible to falling incidents, and these incidents come with higher risks and dangers as well. Generally speaking, seniors have a higher risk of falling than younger individuals since they’re frailer and because aging naturally comes with deterioration or vision, reduction in muscle, brittle bones, and slower reflexes, says an experienced senior home health care services provider in The Bronx. Likewise, since many seniors have osteoporosis, their bones are more susceptible to breaking, which in turn causes back pain and fractures among others. Additionally, their bones take significantly longer to heal since they’re already brittle; all the more reason to prioritize fall prevention.
Another common factor that results in falling incidents in seniors is the side effects of certain medications. Common drugs required by seniors to manage various health conditions could impair balance and cause dizziness—another reason for the need to focus on fall prevention. Also, blood-thinners come with additional hazards. The main issue with these medications is that they could lead to excessive bleeding in the event of a falling accident, and this is particularly hazardous when you hit your head during a falling incident.
Basic Fall Prevention Techniques
There are several practical steps you could take to prevent falling incidents, including fractures, back pain, as well as other health issues that typically come with falls. These include:
- Identifying potential falling dangers throughout your house and addressing them to reduce fall risks.
- Implementing a balance and/or muscle strengthening program—make sure to ask your doctor or physical therapist first to be on the safe side.
- Always wear anti-slip footwear, especially in icy or wet conditions.
- If you’re experiencing side effects from your medications, discuss them with your doctor to see if you could change them or eliminate them.
Remember, it’s so much easier to prevent falls than recovering from their potentially severe consequences. Work with your family, caregiver, and doctor to create a practical fall prevention strategy that would boost your longevity and mobility, and safeguard your quality of life.