Fear of falling is a common phobia, especially after an elderly person falls. How can you help them regain confidence after a fall? And the more we trip and fall, the more frightened and worried we might get about slipping and falling again in the future. This article discusses how seniors might regain confidence after experiencing a fall.
Fear of Falling's Effects on the Elderly
One-third of older people (those 65 and older) will fall over at least once a year, and half of them will fall over more than once a year. If a senior falls, they may lose faith in their ability to move and balance, in addition to the physical consequences that happen.
This fear of falling may have a detrimental effect on an older adult's independence and quality of life as they opt to remain at home rather than go out, and it can restrict the activities that they can participate in.
An elderly person's fear of falling might actually cause them to trip and fall. If your parent has just had a serious fall, it is understandable that they may be fearful of falling over again. On the other hand, the fear of falling might really induce your elderly loved one to trip and fall. This apprehension is a risk factor in and of itself.
Consider the following scenario: an elderly person is racing to catch the bus when she trips and falls down. After the incident, she doesn't want to take the chance of falling over again, so they refrain from using the bus when they are alone.
These factors have an influence on their lives; they have less freedom and are afraid to leave the home by themselves. As a result, the elderly are less likely to get out and about.
Physical activity (such as walking or participating in exercise courses) may help seniors maintain their fitness. If people don't do as much physical activity, their fitness and mobility will inevitably go down.
The upshot of this is an increased danger of falling, which is counter-intuitive. This is due to the fact that exercise helps the elderly maintain their strength and balance. As a result, the less an older adult maintains his or her fitness and health, the less strong and balanced they are.
The importance of assisting your elderly loved one in regaining their confidence after a fall is shown by this. It is, however, possible to break this negative cycle and help them rebuild their self-esteem.
After a fall, it is possible to rehabilitate and restore faith in one's abilities. Here are seven ways to help the elderly feel more confident in their later years.
1. Assist them in recognising and accepting their fear of falling
If your loved one feels scared after a fall, don't be startled or dismissive of their feelings; it's important to understand anxiety from their point of view if you want to help them move ahead. In addition to the physical agony of the fall, there are many valid issues that your loved one will have to deal with, such as the difficulty of obtaining help, time spent in the hospital, and a hard recovery.
2. Recognize the factors that played a role in the fall
Examining the causes of their fall will help you develop a strategy for moving on from the experience. It might be a good idea to talk about this with your friends and family, as well as with a professional. Sometimes, talking about it can help them figure out what the real problem is if it isn't obvious to them right away.
3. Conduct a safety assessment of their house
Conducting a home safety check is one way to assist your loved one in regaining their trust. It will assist you in identifying and correcting possible fall hazards throughout the house, providing peace of mind for your senior family member. It's critical to provide a secure home environment, from grab bars to enhanced lighting.
4. Remove any potential fall hazards
As we age and our reflexes deteriorate, it's critical to do a thorough assessment of your senior loved one's house to ensure that future fall hazards are minimised. Increased illumination, the removal of clutter (particularly around stairs and pathways), loose carpets, and the installation of grab bars in restrooms are all good suggestions.
Additionally, it's a good idea to establish some kind of emergency response system, such as an app or gadget that your loved one may carry that will send an alarm in the event of an emergency.
5. Help them set a goal
Setting a goal will assist your elderly loved one in regaining their confidence, one step at a time. It is now up to them to choose a goal for themselves. There is no limit to how large or tiny it may be, but it should be thorough. To use an example:
- "Within three weeks, I hope to be able to walk to and from the coffee shop at the end of my street on my own."
- "I want to take the bus into town (either by myself or with a friend for assistance) before Christmas."
Having a specific objective in mind will allow them to establish specific aims to achieve it, even if they take a step-by-step method. To achieve their objective, they gradually increase the degree of exercise. Divide this over days, or even weeks, if necessary.
To use the first scenario, would it be possible for both you and your senior loved one to walk halfway to a coffee shop at the end of the first week?
6. Seek professional help
Physical therapy has advanced significantly in recent years, with new procedures for a more rapid, efficient recovery tailored exclusively for the elderly. Having the right physical therapy can help your loved one get better at a reasonable pace and regain strength, flexibility, and stamina. These things are important for them to feel more confident and independent.
7. Think about getting a fall detection watch
A fall detection watch is a wrist-worn electronic gadget that looks and functions similarly to a standard digital watch.
What makes it a "fall detection watch" is that it incorporates technology that detects when you fall and alerts a partner or emergency services. Additionally, this wearable senior monitor often have a button that enables you to call for help manually.
The most important thing to remember after a fall is to maintain your composure. Maintain your own and your parents' calmness by urging them to take slow, controlled breaths. They may exacerbate the situation if they panic and fight.
Although falls and fear of falling are prevalent in older people, it is possible to restore confidence after a fall. Restoring your loved one's confidence and independence may require a collaborative effort between doctors, family members, and physical therapists. During this vulnerable time, don't forget about your loved one's feelings; your support is important for both his or her physical and emotional recovery.
The CPR Guardian Personal Alarm Watch with Fall Detection is an easy-to-use standalone mobile phone watch with an integrated SIM card. It’s a personal alarm that contacts family. They can view the location and well-being of the wearer remotely by using the Guardian mobile APP for Android and iOS. Carers can call the fall detection watch just like a mobile phone. Please contact us if you need assistance.