It’s common knowledge that as we age the risk of falling becomes increasingly common. For an elderly person a fall can be a real health setback. Today more older adults are dying from falls than ever before. Recent studies have shown that 25,000 adults in the United States over the age of 75 have died from a fall in 2016, which has more than doubled since 2000.
Can The Risk of Falling Be Minimized?
It’s almost expected by most older adults and physicians that falling is inevitable as you age, but in reality it’s not. The risk of falling can be prevented if certain measures are carried out.
The most common causes of falling and the best ways to prevent them are:
Are Seniors Falling More Now?
The explanation for more senior falls is there are many more seniors and better reporting than in the past. More attention is bringing brought to falling as older adults and doctors are thinking about it more. Older adults are starting to be more active, which also poses a risk for falls. This does not mean that seniors should be sedentary to avoid falls, that’s the worst thing to do.
Are Pain Pills Increasing the Risk of Falls?
Many seniors are on risky medications, sleeping pills, pain pills, and many others that they’ve been on for years and years. Getting seniors off those medications would help decrease falls dramatically. Pain pills increase the risk of falls by making you dizzy, confused, and lethargic. This causes the user to not be as aware of their surroundings, tripping on curbs or uneven sidewalks.
What Other Drugs Should Seniors Be Aware Of?
Drugs in the anticholinergic class, such as cold medications, are dangerous for increasing the risk of falling. Also, blood pressure medication is tricky because it prevents against heart attacks and strokes. Although, too many can make the blood pressure too low making someone dizzy and fall.
Why Aren’t Doctors Doing More to Prevent Falls?
Usually doctors have a short amount of time with each patient and they’re managing other medical conditions. Fall prevention isn’t high on the scale of importance and it takes a lot of work to help seniors reduce their risk of falling. Everything from having the right glasses to wearing the right shoes needs to be discussed.
What Interventions Can Be Used to Help Seniors?
One of the best ways to prevent falls is through balance training, such as practicing tai chi. Most people will say that walking 20 minutes a day will help, but to really reduce risk of falls something needs to be done that’s specific to balance. Tai chi provides postural stability, so that you can catch yourself and not have the fall.
What Other Methods Can Be Used to Prevent Falls?
For most people it’s an accumulative factor of things that lead to a fall. Various methods can be taken to prevent this, such as wearing the right shoes, using a walker if needed, and getting off risky medications. It’s extremely beneficial to manage all those little details to lower the risk of falling as much as possible.
Fairmont Grand Senior Living Community
Fairmont Grand is a resident centered senior living and memory care facility in Rapid City, SD. Our goal is to create an environment where resident well-being is at the heart of everything we do.
Our wide range of services are designed to meet you or your loved one’s daily needs. We offer restaurant style dining options, a variety of physical activities, and give residents the opportunity to live as independently as possible.