According to St James Hospital, falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to Irish A&E departments. Almost half of all hospital visits of the over 65s are the result of a fall. One in six falls leads to injury, with hip fracture being the most serious. half of all people suffering a hip fracture never regain their previous level of independence and mobility.
Unfortunately, a quarter dies within six months and almost a quarter are discharged to nursing homes. Also falls and blackouts can impede mobility. They can also be non-specific presentations of chest problems, kidney infection, heart attack or stroke.
A fall is a warning sign and is considered a symptom of other potential health issues. As people age, they may feel the effects of natural ageing. They can experience stiff joints, poor eyesight and decreased muscle strength. These effects along with chronic conditions can increase their potential risk of falling.
One potential problem for older adults is inactivity. lack of exercise can lead to weak legs. This can increase your chances of falling. Exercise programs such as Tai Chi can help to increase strength and improve balance and mobility. this makes falls less likely. A Senior Plus caregiver can gauge older adults risks for potential falls. We can provide good examples of exercises that could help to build balance.
Think about your environment and consider these tips.
- Remove clutter from pathways.
- Arrange furniture to make rooms easy to navigate.
- Remove or secure throw rugs
- Wear shoes with non-slip soles.
- Avoid walking in socks/tights on wooden floors.
- Use Handrails.
- Allow plenty of time for activities and tasks.
- Make sure items used in the house more often are at waist level.