Worried about falls? This elderly fall prevention guide can help you decrease the risks of falling and give peace of mind.
Falling is extremely common as we age, and while most falls do not result in significant harm, they can leave us worried. The good news is that there are numerous things you may do to keep your balance.
Falls are a prevalent, yet often unnoticed, source of harm. The majority of falls do not result in serious injury. However, there is always the possibility that a fall could result in broken bones, which can cause the individual to lose confidence, become withdrawn, and feel like they have lost their independence.
Causes of Fall
Because of the natural ageing process, older adults are more likely to fall. Older people are more likely to stumble because they may suffer from:
- issues with balance and muscle weakness
- loss of eyesight
- a chronic medical problem, such as heart disease, dementia, or low blood pressure (hypotension), which can cause dizziness and a temporary loss of consciousness
A fall is also more likely because of these reasons:
- wet floors, such as those in bathrooms, or recently polished floors
- the lighting in the room is dim
- rugs or carpets are not securely fastened
- the person goes downstairs or reaches for storage spaces such as a cupboard
- the person is racing to the restroom during the day or at night
Falling from a ladder while performing home maintenance work is another common cause of falls, particularly among older men.
Falls can be especially dangerous in the elderly due to the prevalence of osteoporosis. It can affect men and women, and is more common in people who smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, use steroids, or have a family history of hip fractures.
However, older women are more vulnerable because osteoporosis is frequently associated with hormonal changes during menopause.
Basic Fall Prevention Tips
Some medical conditions, medications, and footwear can all impair your ability to stay on your feet. Because health changes gradually, you may not notice them, so it's critical to have regular checkups so that you can identify any issues before they cause a fall.
1. Stay Active & Move More
As we age, our muscle strength and balance deteriorate, potentially leading to a fall. Muscle-strengthening exercises can reduce your risk of falling by improving your posture, coordination, and balance.
Inform your health care provider if you avoid physical activity because you fear it will increase your chances of falling. Your provider may advise you to participate in carefully monitored exercise programs or refer you to a physical therapist.
The physical therapist can design a personalised exercise program to improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength.
2. Eat Well & Nourish Your Body
Monitor your appetite and ensure you eat properly. Eating something, even if it is only tiny snacks throughout the day, is always preferable, rather than three main meals. Getting enough energy is essential for maintaining strength and avoiding falls.
You should drink plenty of water and eat well. If you don't drink enough, you're more likely to become dizzy, which increases your risk of falling. Drink at least six to eight glasses of fluid per day.
4. Keep Your Eyes in Check
As we age, our vision changes, which can cause us to trip or lose our balance. Get your eyes and glasses checked at least every two years. It detects any vision issues before they cause you to lose your balance and coordination.
5. Keep Your Ears in Check
As you age, you may notice that your hearing isn't as good as it once was. Consult your doctor as soon as you suspect your hearing has deteriorated, as an ear problem can seriously impair your balance. The issue could be something simple, such as ear wax buildup or an ear infection, or it could be that you require a hearing aid.
6. Manage Your Medication
Some medications can cause you to feel dizzy or faint and impact your balance. Inform your doctor if you have any of these adverse effects after taking any drug; they may need to adjust the dose or look into alternatives.
7. Keep Your Bones Healthy
Eat calcium-rich meals, obtain adequate vitamin D from sunlight, and engage in weight-bearing workouts to keep your bones healthy and strong. If your bones are weaker, they are more prone to break if you fall. Stronger bones may make any damage you experience less severe.
8. Wear the Right Shoes
Foot or shoe problems might impair your balance and increase your chances of tripping or falling. Discuss any foot problems with your doctor.
As part of your fall prevention strategy, consider altering your footwear. Slip, stumble, and fall when wearing high heels, floppy slippers, or shoes with sticky soles. Walking in your sock feet might also be dangerous. Wear correctly fitting, robust, flat shoes with nonskid soles instead. Sensible footwear may also help to alleviate joint pain.
9. Talk to Your Doctor
It's reasonable to be concerned about falling if you've experienced a fall or believe your balance isn't as excellent as it once was. It can be an issue if it causes you to avoid particular activities, such as exercise, or prevents you from leaving the house.
Think and plan to feel more confident and in control by discussing your risk of falling with your doctor and considering whether you need to put a personal alarm in your house.
Your doctor may undertake a falls risk assessment to determine what makes you more prone to falls. They can also devise a strategy to lessen your chance of falling.
10. Consider Personal Alarms for Elderly
Personal alarms allow you to summon assistance if you are ill or have fallen and cannot access a phone. You will notify a 24-hour response centre if you press a button on a necklace or bracelet you wear all the time. The employees at the centre will then contact the right person to assist you, whether it is a neighbour, relative, acquaintance, or emergency services.
Fall Prevention: Keep Your Home Fall-Proof
How can I make my house more secure? Many slips, trips, and falls occur in or near the home. Keeping an eye out for potential hazards can help to make your home safer. Simple modifications around the house can have a significant effect.
- Rugs and mats at the top and bottom of the stairs are a tripping danger and can easily cause a fall, so move them out of the way.
- Install a nightlight near the bed to ensure that you can see where you're going if you wake up in the middle of the night.
- Install a motion-activated light that turns on and off as needed.
- Remove tripping risks such as dangling wires, clutter, and carpets.
- Avoid glass furniture since it might be challenging to see and may cause a stumble.
How Can CPR Guardian Help?
Personal alarms are one of the most efficient ways to prevent falls. According to a review, wearable technology gives an accurate, low-cost approach to detecting falls and summoning help. The efficacy of these devices varies greatly depending on the type of gadget and where it is used.
These are the top features of the CPR Guardian Fall Detection Watch:
- The built-in mobile phone's SOS watch button lets the wearer immediately call five pre-set contacts.
- Every 10 minutes, Guardian records the wearer's heart rate and sends the information directly to the CPR Monitoring APP. By connecting to all major mobile networks, the embedded CPR Chameleon SIM card offers unmatched connectivity throughout the UK and the EU.
- The Guardian 3 movement sensor constantly monitors changes in the wearer's movement.
- Using the CPR Guardian mobile APP for Android and Apple / iOS, family and caregivers can remotely check the wearer's whereabouts and health.
- The watch will send its GPS location directly to the carer's smartphone APP.
- People can wear the personal alarm watch in the shower, where the risk of falling is more significant.
CPR Guardian has been designing and manufacturing telecoms products for over 10 years. Since 2010, we have helped over 1,000,000 people stay safe inside and outside their homes. We support customers and their families across the UK, USA, and the rest of the world.