As a person ages, the likelihood of them getting injured from a fall increases drastically. In fact, one in three people over the age of 65 is injured or killed each year as a result of a fall. Even if they were not seriously injured, falling can sometimes cause depression or leave a person fearful that they’ll fall again.
The most common reasons people in this age range fall include:
- Poor coordination
- Vision issues
- Side effects from medicines
- Surrounding environment
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and stroke
- Dehydration or blood sugar issues
The good news is that many falls can be prevented. The staff at Kingston Healthcare has compiled a list of ways you can help reduce the chances of your older friends or loved ones of falling.
See if they have any health issues
Ask your elderly friend if they are experiencing any issues with their medication. You can also ask if they are having difficulty completing tasks they used to complete with ease. This is a perfect opportunity to point out that these issues could lead to falls and they should address these concerns with their healthcare provider.
Ask about their vision
Make sure your loved one has been to the eye doctor lately, especially if they wear glasses. Tripping over unseen items is an easy way for someone to fall and injure themselves.
See if they use walls or furniture to stable themselves
If someone is not able to stand still or walk without holding on to a wall or piece of furniture, it may be a good idea for them to see a physical therapist to improve their balance, strength and gait. They may also be in need of a cane or walker.
Talk about what medications they’re taking
If your older loved one is on a number of medications, ask them if they ever have trouble keeping track of what they are taking and when they should take it. They should also ask their doctor or pharmacist to review any new prescriptions to make sure they won’t interact with any current medications.
When it comes to over-the-counter drugs, they should avoid any medications that can cause them to become drowsy or dizzy.
Check to make sure their house is safe
There are some easy ways you can improve an older friend’s home and help them identify tripping and falling hazards. Some of these home improvement ideas include:
- Remove any objects that obstruct walkways or rooms
- Ensure sufficient lighting to see well throughout home
- Secure stairway hand rails
- Add grab bars in the bathroom
If you have a friend or loved one who has fallen recently, contact Kingston HealthCare at 419-247-2880 to see how we can help with the recovery process.