Falls contribute considerably to causes of injury among the elderly. One out of three older adults become a casualty of falling yearly, a leading source on why many elders who have sustained broken bones or hip fractures are rushed to emergency rooms.
It's a terrifying thought that a simple stumble can lead to irreversible repercussions. Unfortunately, this is the reality of older people aged 65 years and over. Several factors can cause falling, and the gravity of the accident can range from mild to serious. Ideally, we would want to avoid the worst-case scenario.
Below is a list of possibilities that can increase the risks of falls:
Our bodies become frail as it ages, reflexes became dull and our movement has become sluggish. Because of this, older people react slower than younger people. Aging can affect any part of the body that can detect or avoid fall hazards such as vision, hearing, strength, and balance.
Poor health conditions can affect our overall body strength. Those who live with diseases like diabetes, or problems found in the heart, blood pressure, nerves, feet, thyroid, and blood vessels are common to losing their balance.
Medication - not all, but some medicines exhibit side effects like confusion and dizziness can cause a high chance of falling among the elder. If your loved ones experience these side effects whenever they take their meds, make sure they are sitting somewhere safe. Ask them to avoid doing any sudden movements like standing up or turning their heads.
One action can trigger another when a person is confused. Sudden movements and making fast turns can lead to knocking things down and causing that person to fall. An unfamiliar environment can also be a trigger and cause further unwanted accidents.
A lot of things are considered a hazard. Stairs are a tremendous risk for the elderly. The act of climbing up and down takes a toll on their lower body, adding pressure to their knees. Other hazards include loose carpeting, chords from electronics, scattered clutter on the floor, and bad weather, all of which contribute to falls.
Transfer or Changing Position
"Transfer" is a term used by healthcare professionals when assisting their patients in changing or moving their position. This is done for the health and comfort of the patients they care for. However, accidents can still occur when transferring a patient. That is why carers need to be extra careful when handling their patients.
There is an increased risk of falls when it comes to a vulnerable older person. That is why we have to take all the necessary steps to prevent falls. You can start with helping your loved ones stay active to keep them physically fit. Regular exercising can strengthen muscles, joints, and tendons. A fitter body can even be more flexible.
As their carer, you must remind them to regularly have their eyes and ears checked, wearing prescribed glasses and hearing aids can save lives. Another personal risk factor to watch out for is the side effects their medications might have. Take note of all their medications, do your research and observe their reactions, if their medicine causes dizziness, confusion, or nausea, consult their doctor immediately.
Using canes and walkers of the right size can also help prevent falls. And of course, it's critical to notify their doctor if they have fallen even if the pain didn't manifest immediately. The fall may have triggered a new underlying medical problem, and there's no way of knowing unless they have it checked.
A fall can happen anywhere, either in the park or in the nursing home they currently reside in. It is unpredictable, and the consequences can be dire. Luckily for us, modern technology has provided us with the solution.
The CPR Guardian III 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 help.