With aging elder people tend to lose their balance and mobility, which further results in falling. Falls are one of the major risks elderly people face and these can lead to some serious injuries and even death in few cases. Several factors can initiate falls in elderly like ageing, arthritis, diabetes, anemia and other chronic disorders. With aging bones becomes weak and fragile and when elders slip, it leads to some serious fatal injuries like broken bones, hips and others. In few cases these falling accidents can also lead to deaths in elders. Usually elders do not experience any severe symptoms before falling, but few people may have mild to moderate symptoms like dizziness, weakness and others. Falls and fear of falls have a huge impact on elders, it affects their self confidence and also their quality of life. Elders may isolate themselves from participating in social gatherings, going outside and other activities due to fear of falling.
Let us know a little about why elders fall and also ways to avoid falls in elders.
Causes of falls
Several factors starting from aging, physical factors to environment factors and others can cause a fall or slip in elders. Here are few causes of falls in elders like
- Balance and mobility problems
- Vision problems
- Low BP
- Heart diseases
- Alzheimer’s diseases
- Numbness in feet
- Foot disorders
- Weakness or anemia
- Thyroid problems
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Environmental factors that can lead to falls among elders are
- Wet and slippery floor
- Lighting problems
- Unsafe footwear
- Lose carpets
- Uneven ground
- Dark staircase
Along with above, factors like confusion and usage of high dose or excess medications can also lead to falls in elders. Lack of exercise also triggers falls in few cases. Due to lack of exercises your bones, muscles and joints becomes more weak and fragile and lead to balance problems. Many elders due to fear of falling stay indoors and avoid going for walking and doing regular exercises, due to which their exposure to sun also get reduced and leads to a condition called vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency also makes your bones weak and prone to fractures when elder people fall.
Avoiding falls in elder people
Here are few safety measures which help to avoid falls in elders like
- Get your eyes and ears examined regularly. If you are not seeing any objects properly, you may end up falling.
- Be physically active as this makes you flexible, improves your balance and also controls your weight and joint stiffening problems
- Wear right fitting shoes which have non skid soles and also use non slip mats in your home
- Consult your doctor immediately, if you experience any dizziness or weakness after taking any therapy
- Get enough sleep
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Keep your house and bathrooms clean and dry
- Do not leave electric cords or any other house hold items in the way
- Keep your house ventilated or switch on lights in your house if you are unable to see clearly
- Do not try to stand or get up fastly, take your time as you may fell dizzy and aggravate fall
- For your safety and support you can also use walking assistive aids like canes and walkers.