Fall prevention in the elderly

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.