Did you know that according to the CDC falling is the number one cause of injuries in adults over 65 resulting in hip fractures, cuts, and even serious head injuries? Every year 1 out of 4 older adults falls and hurts themselves and only half of them talk with their doctors about it. This problem needs to be handled smartly to make sure older adults stay safe and healthy. Learn about the factors that increase the risk of falls in seniors and ways to ensure their safety in this article.
What increases the risk of falls in seniors?
Several factors increase the risk of falls in seniors:
- Having balancing or walking problems. Your balance can be affected by vision changes, vestibular problems, or altered sensation in the feet.
- Use of multiple medications for certain health conditions. Studies found that individuals who take five or more medications have a higher risk of falling.
- Certain home hazards such as dim lighting, trip hazards, and slippery staircases.
- Feet or footwear issues such as loosened shoes.
- Positional low blood pressure such as orthostatic hypotension is a state when your blood pressure drops upon standing.
Falls mostly occur when a person is sitting or standing on the toilet or showering, or at night in a dark bedroom when they try to get up quickly or trip on the way to the bathroom.
What to discuss with your healthcare provider?
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider who’d do a fall assessment test to determine the risk and discuss fall prevention strategies to keep your loved ones safe. Your healthcare provider may talk about:
- Medications: They need to bring all prescribed or non-prescribed medication or supplements with them during the appointment. This helps doctors understand the side effects of medication and how they may increase the risk of falling. To prevent falling risk, the doctor might stop or replace some medications that affect thinking, such as sedatives, antihistamines, and certain types of antidepressants.
- Previous fall history: Note down the details of when, where, and how they fell. Be prepared to discuss instances if they almost fell but were caught by someone or managed to grab hold of something just in time. These details help your healthcare providers to identify specific fall-prevention strategies.
- Overall health conditions: If they have certain eye or ear disorders that increase the risk of falls, you need to discuss their health conditions and how comfortable they are when they walk. Is there a chance that they feel dizziness, joint pain, shortness of breath, or numbness in their feet or legs when they walk? This discussion and examination help the healthcare provider to evaluate their muscle strength, balance, and walking style as well.
If you need help with older adults’ health problems, visit our clinic in Brooklyn. The professionals at Doral Health & Wellness and House calls Home Care are excellent resources for learning more about how aging may affect your loved ones. A person with a chronic illness or a handicap can benefit from better continuity and coordination of treatment by enrolling in a managed long-term care program. Consult your family doctor before beginning any new fitness or activity program. Feel free to contact us on + 1-347-384-5690 or via email at email@example.com if you have any more questions.