Tips for Avoiding Nighttime Falls for Seniors | United Zion
The National Council on Aging hosts a Falls Prevention Awareness Week each year in September, and older adults should be aware of the risks of falling from bed and how they can reduce them.
Tips for Bedroom Fall Prevention
We recommend replacing your mattress every 7 to 10 years, but you may need to do so sooner if you’re an older adult. It’s also important to have proper lighting for the bedroom, such as a nightlight or flashlight by the bed. Keep walker and canes close by so you don’t have to walk without support.
Bedroom Fall Risk Factors
The National Health Service (NHS) has warned that a senior’s risk of falling out of bed can be increased by a number of factors.
Diabetic neuropathy is a serious diabetes complication that affects up to 50% of people with diabetes. As diabetes and diabetic neuropathy progress, the risk of falling increases due to cognitive decline, kinaesthesia (body awareness), and changes in balance.
Recent Medical Event or Hospitalization
Many hospitals do not consider fall risk when discharging elderly patients, and 60% of patients hospitalized for CVD have an increased risk of falling within 180 days of diagnosis.
Prescription Drug Changes or New Prescriptions
Prescription drugs can cause a lack of body awareness and coordination, making it difficult to get out of bed and even falling. Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and anticholinergics are the most common drugs that have been linked to an increased risk of falling.
Changes in the Sleeping Environment
Changes to a bedroom can cause disorientation, which can increase the risk of falling out of bed. Some things to keep an eye on are the furniture layout, bed height, and the texture of pajamas and sheet covers. A bed that is too low may require more effort to get out of.
A sleeping senior may feel compelled to use the restroom, and they may roll over to get up quickly while still half asleep, causing them to fall out of bed. Nightlights should be plugged in near the bed, and a bedside lamp should be kept on the nightstand.
Sundowning is a condition that affects people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and begins at dusk as the sun sets, causing confusion, fear, disorientation, and fatigue in the evening. If an older adult is unable to properly and safely settle into bed, sundowning can lead to a fall out of bed.
BPPV, also known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is a condition that causes people to become dizzy and lose their balance easily. It affects about 10% of the elderly population. Shifting positions, such as sitting up in bed, can cause a senior to become dizzy and fall out of bed.
In older adults, worsening eyesight is very common, especially if they are laying in bed in the dark or in low-light situations without their glasses on.
REM Behavior Disorder
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder affects people between the ages of 40 and 70, and causes them to make violent leg and arm movements, as well as scream or shout while sleeping. It is linked to Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple system atrophy.
How can we prevent falls in elderly at night?
You can take proactive steps to reduce the risk of injury now that you know which aging adults are most at risk for bed falls. Tips for Bedroom Fall Prevention
- Getting up slowly.
- Keeping walker and canes close by.
- Creating a roll barrier.
- Wedge pillows.
How do you stop an elderly person from falling?
Experts in senior care offer the following tips for avoiding falls at home:
- Remove or repair tripping hazards.
- Install grab bars and handrails.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing.
- Light it properly.
- Wear shoes.
- Make it nonslip.
- Live on one level.
What does it mean when an elderly person keeps falling?
Because they may have: balance problems and muscle weakness. vision loss. a long-term health condition, such as heart disease, dementia, or low blood pressure (hypotension), which can cause dizziness and a brief loss of consciousness, older people are more likely to fall.
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.
What increases the risk of falls in the elderly?
Increasing age, medication use, cognitive impairment, and sensory deficits are all risk factors for falls in the elderly, and these measures can have a significant impact on the morbidity and mortality of falls, as well as the quality of life gains for patients and their caregivers.
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.
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.
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.
What are the 6 stages of dementia?
Resiberg’s system is as follows:
- Stage 1: No Impairment: Alzheimer’s disease is not detectable at this stage, and there are no memory problems or other dementia symptoms.
- Stage 2: Very Mild Decline.
- Stage 3: Mild Decline.
- Stage 4: Moderate Decline.
- Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline.
- Stage 6: Severe Decline.
- Stages 7: Very Severe Decline.
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.
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.
How do you prevent falls in elderly with dementia?
Falls Caused by Dementia
- 1: Provide Adequate Lighting. 2: Provide Visual Cues. 3: Clear Walking Paths Inside the Home. 4: Reduce Clutter Outside. 5: Information and Reminders in a Common Place. 6: Keep Important Things Near the Bed. 7: Consider Unmet Needs. 8: Lower Noise Levels.
What to do if an elderly person falls in a care home?
Request to see the current Falls Risk Assessment(s) and demand that the care home revisit this immediately (if they haven’t already) and implement better protective measures, as well as raise any concerns you have with the care home manager. Don’t wait for an accident to happen; it may be too late.
What happens when a resident falls in a nursing home?
When a nursing home resident falls, they require immediate medical attention; second, speak with the nursing home staff to learn how the injury occurred so that it does not happen to your loved one or anyone else; and third, file a report with the nursing home regarding the fall injury.