Fall Prevention: Why Older Adults Fall & What to Do
Most people are aware that falls are dangerous for older adults; one out of every five falls results in a serious injury such as a broken bone or a concussion. Fear of falling can also have a negative impact on an aging adult’s quality of life, preventing them from being active and thriving.
First, understand why older people fall
Most older people will fall for their own unique set of reasons; you can (and should) try to follow the general fall prevention tips, but if you truly want to help an older loved one avoid falling, learn more about why he or she might fall.
Why personalized fall prevention works better than general fall prevention
Doctors frequently miss opportunities to reduce fall risk unless a family is proactive in asking for help, so don’t assume that most doctors will identify and manage the most important risk factors for falls.
Why a fall happens
When we’re young and healthy, we have a lot of ability to stay upright; a big enough knock off-balance can send even a 20-year-old sprawling. Illness or weakness can also reduce anyone’s ability to stay upright.
How do you prevent backward falls?
Backward Fall Prevention Tips
- Instead of stepping backward, take a step sideways.
- Stand slightly to the side of the oven door, refrigerator door, microwave door, or other appliance you’re trying to open, and use a “Power Stance,” with one hand on a stable surface.
What causes an elderly person to fall backwards?
Backward disequilibrium can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including somatic (degenerative, ischemic, and traumatic brain lesions), psychosomatic (psychomotor disadaptation syndrome, confinement to bed, nonuse situations), and psychological (depression).
What is falling backwards a symptom of?
Postural instability is one of the four primary motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, though not everyone with the disease has balance problems.
What to do if an elderly person keeps falling?
When an Elderly Person Falls Down, What Should You Do?
- Stay calm and encourage your loved one to do the same by encouraging them to take slow, deep breaths. Examine them for bruises, bleeding, possible sprains, and broken bones.
- Ask them if they are in pain, where it is, and how severe it is.
What worsens Parkinson’s disease?
PD symptoms can be exacerbated by medication changes, infection, dehydration, sleep deprivation, recent surgery, stress, or other medical issues. Urinary tract infections (even without bladder symptoms) are a common cause. TIP: Certain medications can exacerbate PD symptoms.
Does walking prevent falls?
When comparing the walking group to the balance group, falls per physically active person-day (rate ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.19-0.77) and falls per person-step (rate ratio 0.47, 95% confidence interval 0.26-0.85) showed a significant reduction in fall risk.
What to watch for after an elderly person falls?
After a fall, there are eight things doctors should look into.
- A blood pressure and pulse reading while sitting and standing.
- Blood tests.
- Medications review.
- Gait and balance.
- Vitamin D level.
- Evaluation for underlying heart conditions or neurological conditions.
How can we prevent falls in the elderly in a nursing home?
- Individualized or group physical therapy.
- Tai Chi.
- Environmental modifications.
- Home safety awareness.
- Correcting vitamin D deficiency.
- Reducing the number of medications.
- Reducing the use of psychotropic, anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, and sedatives.
At what age are you considered elderly?
According to the Social Security Administration, 9 out of 10 people over the age of 65 are eligible for Social Security benefits, and 65 is the legal age at which U.S. citizens are considered seniors.
When would someone falling become a cause for concern?
Any fall that results in an injury, no matter how minor, is cause for concern and should be treated right away. Injuries may appear minor at first, but gradual or sudden changes in health or behavior are significant indicators that an injury warrants further investigation.
What causes falling down suddenly?
Dehydration, aging circulation, medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and heart conditions, and some medications used to treat high blood pressure can all contribute to dizziness. inner ear problems, such as labyrinthitis or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) heart rate or rhythm problems
What is the most common cause of falls in the elderly?
Illnesses and physical conditions can affect your strength and balance, and poor lighting and throw rugs in your home can cause you to trip or fall.
How long do seniors live after a fall?
According to Cheng’s research, 4.5 percent of elderly patients (aged 70 and up) died after a ground-level fall, compared to 1.5 percent of non-elderly patients.
Where do seniors fall the most?
Where do the majority of elderly people fall?
- 60 percent of falls happen in the home
- 30% happen in a community setting (for example, while shopping or walking down the street)
- 10% happen in a health care facility such as a hospital, clinic, or nursing/rehabilitation facility.
What happens when elderly fall?
Some falls are fatal, and death can happen right awayu2014for example, when the head hits a hard surface and causes uncontrolled bleeding in or around the brainu2014or it can happen later, as a result of complications from serious injuries sustained in the fall.