Many people consider falling to be an inevitable byproduct of old age. It’s easy to see why: studies show that a third of people over the age of 65 fall each year. Falling can lead to seniors developing a fear of walking, as those prone to falls can develop a deep-rooted fear of falling again. In previous posts, we shared ways that home health care professionals can determine if a senior is at risk of falling, and a checklist that caregivers can use for preventing falls in the home. Today, we’ll focuse on some things an elderly person can do to reduce their risk of falling in the first place. Taking these measures in order to reduce falls (and the length physical rehabilitation process that follows) if absoulutely essential if you have an aging loved one.
Below are some tips on avoiding falls, adapted from learnnottofall.com, a service of Phillips Lifeline.
Strength and balance
Those at risk (or afraid of) falling tend to become less active. In truth, the less active a person is, the more likely it is that he or she will fall due a lack of strength and balance. That’s why healthcare professionals recommend that seniors have a regular exercise routine, even if it’s just one step at a time.
Exercise can improve a senior’s:
- Strength and stamina, promoting heart, lung and cardiovascular health.
- Balance, which can diminish over time if not continuously worked on.
- Gait and strength of walking.
- Reflexes, by increasing responsiveness to obstacles or other potential dangers in their path.
Know your medications
While medications can help seniors stay well, they can also sometimes have side effects that make seniors prone to falls. This is especially true in the case of those taking several medications daily.
Things to consider when linking medications to fall risks:
- Drugs may have side effects that make a person feel dizzy or confused.
- Multiple drugs may interact, producing side effects that lead to falls.
- Following the doctor’s orders may be difficult for some seniors, as their medication schedule is too complicated or they are suffering from side effects.
Falls are a leading cause of loss of elderly independence. Being aware of the factors that put someone at risk of falling are key to fall prevention. In the end, simple solutions like regular exercise and proper medication management can help your loved one live a more comfortable and healthy life–completely free from a fear of falling.
Physicians Choice Private Duty currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!
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