Fall Prevention

Should the elderly exercise?

by Angie on

Have you ever noticed that the older you are, the more aches and pains you get? Things that used to be easy to do aren’t so now? More so for your elderly folks, for some even walking to the front porch is a task on its own. Do they really need exercise in their daily routine?

The answer is a resounding YES! Just because you have reached the golden age, that does not mean that exercise takes a back seat in your life. All the more why it should be priority #1 in your daily life. After all, age is ONLY a number, you are never too old to start exercising. The only hurdle is your mind. We are so conditioned to think that when you reach the 70s and 80s, all you should be doing is spending the days sitting in a rocking chair and reading the papers. Let me tell you that this is a MYTH! It is time for a paradigm shift.

caregiver and seniorYour parent is in the hospital and will be returning home soon. You have taken the decision to be the caregiver. But, you are absolutely clueless about being a caregiver and do not know what to prepare for your parent’s arrival from the hospital. This is a familiar scenario, isn’t it?

Through the following steps, I will guide you with the necessary preparations to be taken in your home for your loved one and on tips in being their caregiver.

STOP!!! Break that fall.

by Angie on

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No one likes falling down and this is especially true for the elderly. It is their biggest nightmare and fear in life. This nightmare and fear is also scientifically supported by a study published in New England Journal of Medicine which states that up to 75% of the elderly would have had at least 2 falls within a year and the risk of morbidity and mortality due to these falls increase with age. This piece of information just enough to make fall prevention the number 1 priority for the caregivers of the elderly.

S.T.O.P = Stop, Think, Observe and Prevent

S.T.O.P is an easy to follow fall prevention program, recommended by the Gateway Geriatric Education Centre, which can assist any caregiver in preventing falls in the elderly. In this program, a caregiver has to stop and look at the environment which the elderly is in, think of how to make it fall safe, observe the elderly and their movement and prevent a potential accident from happening.

The first thing that you, as a caregiver, should do is to identify all the possible locations that accidents can take place as the elderly moves around at home ( this also applies to nursing homes)

Fall RiskA caregiver’s biggest nightmare when it comes to their ageing loved ones are falls. Their anxiety is rightly so as falls have been associated as the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries (fractures and head injuries) for people aged more than 65 years. Even if the fall is without a major injury, the concerned elderly would naturally become fearful to be active.

But what causes the fall?
1. Balance and gait: As we age, most of us lose some coordination, flexibility, and balance— primarily through inactivity, making it easier to fall.
2. Vision: In the aging eye, less light reaches the retina—making contrasting edges, tripping hazards, and obstacles harder to see.
3. Medications: Some prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can cause dizziness, dehydration or interactions with each other that can lead to a fall.
4. Environment: Most seniors have lived in their homes for a long time and have never thought about simple modifications that might keep it safer as they age.
5. Chronic conditions: More than 90% of older adults have at least one chronic condition like diabetes, stroke, or arthritis. Often, these increase the risk of falling because they result in lost function, inactivity, depression, pain, or multiple medications.

The good news is most falls can be prevented by reducing their risk of falling. Every little thing brings a lot of relief to your loved ones to stay independent, happy and healthy as long as possible. Here are 6 simple steps that you can take today to help your older loved one to reduce their risk of a fall.