Falls are one of the largest cause of death and injuries in elderly people. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in older adults and they may also cause other severe injuries, such as fractures of the hip, that can have extremely negative impacts on one's quality of life. Seniors who fall can become more afraid of falling, and this fear can reduce their quality of life and their ability to exercise properly. Reduced physical activity can then lead to a vicious cycle in which a older person’s physical condition deteriorates, increasing the risk of falling even more, and further diminishing the victim’s independence and quality of life. For these reasons and others, fall prevention is an essential component of senior care.
Risk Factors That Lead To Falls Among Seniors
Your medical condition is obviously an important factor. Older adults may suffer from one or more chronic medical conditions.
Lower body weakness: if the core, back, hips or legs are weak or in pain, it will have an effect on a person’s balance.
Vision disorders: Any eye injury or visual impairment can increase a per-son’s risk of falling. People with impaired vision may misinterpret a hazard or fail to see it altogether.
Ear disorders: the ears are essential to maintaining proper balance, and proper balance is essential to reducing the risk of falling. Elder adults should have their hearing checked as often as their eyes.
Cardio vascular problems. Heart rate and blood pressure. The heart rate affects many other aspects of the body, including brain function, motor skills, and vision, High blood pressure may be indicative of stress, which increases the risk of a fall.
Neurological disorders like M. Parkinson, a stroke and cognitive deterioration can cause a bad balance and less muscle strength.
Psychological/ psychiatric problems: a depression could lead to inactivity and that could lead to bad physical condition and a higher risk to fall.
Arthritis: joint pain makes it harder to avoid falls. Symptoms of ar-thritis must be controlled as a part of a fall protection strategy.
Fear of falling: as mentioned above, people who are more fearful of falling are actually more likely to fall. Your doctor should assess this psychological condition and, if it is present, work with you to remove it.
Medications in general
Medications have a more extreme effect on elder adults than they do on younger people, and sedatives and antidepressants routinely increase the risk of a fall in an older adult. If you experience side effects that impact your mobility go and see your doctor.
Your home environment may create falling hazards for example a cluttered home full of obstacles or a slippery floor in the bathroom. Other environ-mental factors can cause a fall as well: too much sunlight, heavy rain or a storm.
Poor lighting can put you at risk for a fall by obscuring obstacles or making even clutter-free areas more difficult to navigate.
Avoid loose fitting shoes and shoes with slippery soles. If you have foot problems, wear appropriate shoes. Avoid shoes with high heels or soles that are too slick and flip flops.
What to do
If the person who fell cannot get up, first call for medical assistance -when necessary- and then administer first aid without moving the patient. If you do not know first aid, make sure the person is as comfortable as possible until professional medical assistance arrives. Pay special attention to the joints.