Trips and falls are some of the most prevailing causes of injury for seniors, and the potentially harmful outcomes that a fall can have for seniors can impact the overall quality of life that they are able to experience moving forward in their lives.
Remaining vigilant and aware of the possible risk factors and dangers of falling, as well as the cautionary measures that can be taken to reduce the chances of falling, can help keep the seniors of Edmonton feeling safer and more at ease.
Consequences of a Fall
The more fragile state of health that is often experienced in older age gives something like a fall the power to result significant injuries that can impact seniors’ levels of independence and quality of life in significant ways. A fall can potentially result in brain injuries, fractures, and other physical injuries, and can also lead to growing feelings of anxiety related to the possibility that another fall might occur that can discourage seniors from walking around and can result in them spending more time in a sedentary state. For these reasons among others, something as seemingly simple as one little fall has the capacity to negatively impact both the physical and mental health of seniors.
An important step in the process of implementing practices that can help to keep seniors safer from falls is identifying and understanding vulnerabilities that are present in each seniors’ individual case that create concerns that need to be addressed. A whole host of factors, such as medications, chronic health problems, visual impairments, lack of physical fitness, and environmental elements can all end up being the cause of a falls if they remain ignored or unaddressed. Understanding possible risk factors can help in the process of setting up strategies that can help reduce seniors’ risks of falling.
- Add Traction: Slippery surfaces often lead to slips and falls. Installing rubberized mats, or making sure that socks and slippers have traction grips on the bottom can help reduce the chances of slipping.
- Keep Fit: Maintaining a level of physical fitness helps to develop balance and keep the body in better overall physical condition so that it is stronger and less prone to tumbling.
- Keep the Floor Clear: Clear clutter, tuck away chords, rug corners, and other things that are often tripped on, ensure rooms are well lit so that the way is clear, and arrange furniture in a safe and easily navigable arrangement. In some areas, such as the bathroom, it can also be helpful to install hand rails.
- Know the Symptoms of Existing Health Conditions: Being aware of the symptoms that come along with existing health conditions can offer insight into whether these conditions might cause vision, balance, movement, or hearing changes that make it easier to fall.
- Make Yourself Aware of Medication Side-Effects: Dizziness and fatigue are common side-effects of medications, and may contribute to fall risk. Ensure that you are aware not only of the possible side-effects of each medication, but also how multiple drugs might interact with one another to increase the possible risk of falling.
- Schedule Routine Vision and Hearing Tests: Difficulties with vision and trouble hearing in an environment are significant risk factors for falls. Assessing the health of eyes and ears on a routine basis can help to identify and address problems promptly so that aids such as glasses or hearing-aids can be implemented or updated accordingly
- Talk to a Health Professional: Consult a health professional to have them assess risk factors for falling and detect any health-related vulnerabilities that may cause a fall.
While falls are a real risk for seniors in older age, it is important always remember that falls do not necessarily have to be an inevitable aspect of growing older. While seniors are at an increased risk of falling, strategies can be utilized and measures can be put into place that aim to reduce that risk as much as possible. Staying alert and aware of potential dangers, risk factors, and vulnerabilities, and taking the necessary precautions to manage both the environment and seniors’ state of health can help keep seniors feeling safe and calm within their homes even as they continue to age.
Contact us today for a Free Home Care Assessment by a Nurse to discuss how our services in Edmonton can help you or your loved one remain safe at home.