Dr. Shivanada Pai

Consultant - Neurology

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Reviewed by

Dr. Shivanada Pai

Consultant - Neurology

Manipal Hospitals, Mangaluru

Preventing Falls and Injuries in Elders

Reviewed by:

Dr. Shivanada Pai

Posted On: Dec 05, 2022

blogs read 4 Min Read

Neurology treatment in Mangalore

In the elderly population, falls are all too common and can be fatal. They are the primary contributors to injuries and fatalities among people over the age of 65. Every year, one in three older individuals living in the community falls, and 24% of those who do incur serious injuries and 6% have fractures. After a fall, a person might be in pain, require medical attention, have surgery, be admitted to a nursing home, have their overall functional ability reduced, have a lower quality of life, or develop a fear of falling and primarily require neurology treatment in Mangalore.

People of any age can fall at any moment, any place. However, as people age, their risk of falling and the severity of their injuries from falling both increases. Along with head traumas, common injuries include fractures of the shoulder, forearm, pelvis, and hip, as well as fractures of the spine.

Risk of Falls in the Elderly Population

In older adults, there is typically a relationship between a number of factors, such as,

  • Walking or balance issues. Vision changes, vestibular issues, and changes in foot sensation can all have an impact on balance.

  • The use of several drugs. According to studies, taking five or more medications increases the risk of falling.

  • Home dangers (including dim lighting and trip hazards)

  • Low blood pressure in a specific position, such as orthostatic hypotension, which occurs when you suddenly stand up.

  • Problems with feet and shoes

Falls frequently happen in the bathroom when getting up quickly and tripping on the way to the toilet or shower, or late at night in a dark bedroom. To avoid this, one should consult a neurologist in Mangalore to reduce these falls.

Preventive Measures for Falls in Elders

As one gets older, fall prevention is a crucial topic to think about. Ageing leads to physical changes and health issues, and occasionally, the medications used to address those issues increase the risk of falling. In fact, falls rank first among the injuries that older people sustain. But they should not let their fear of falling take over their lives. Instead, they should think about easy fall prevention techniques. Some of these preventive measures are listed below,

  • Staying physically active

One should create a personalised exercise plan for themselves. Regular exercise strengthens their muscles and enhances their bodies. Additionally, exercise keeps your ligaments, tendons, and joints flexible. Walking or climbing stairs, which are light-weight-bearing activities, may help slow bone loss caused by osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones brittle and more likely to break. 

  • Trying out some strength and balance exercises.

Balance and muscle strength can be improved by yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. To increase strength, one might also try using resistance bands or lifting weights. Find out more about the various exercises you may do to increase your strength and balance.

  • Participate in exercise programs 

One should participate in exercise programmes to improve agility, strength, balance, and coordination. Improvement of bone strength can be achieved through activities such as climbing stairs, jogging, hiking, dancing, weight training, and other activities that slow the progression of osteoporosis.

  • Bicycling and gardening

Bicycling and gardening can improve the health and quality of life of the elderly.

  • Make Home Fall-Proof

One should make their home fall-proof. The following suggestions must be considered for home improvements that may keep elders safe and prevent falls. 

  • Furniture should be adjusted

No furniture should obstruct the doorways between rooms.

  • Eliminating the clutter

Boxes and other types of clutter are easy to accumulate. Some time should be given to organise the home, paying specific attention to the stairs and hallways.

  • Adding handrails to the stairwells on both sides is important.

Each should extend the entire length of the stairs and be 30 inches above the surface.

  • Adding nighttime lighting is important

Considering the installation of a nightlight in the bathroom and keeping the home's hallways and walks well-lit is also important. If someone needs to use the restroom in the middle of the night, a clear path will be extremely useful.

  • Locking up any slouchy area rugs

All loose rugs in the home, including those in the bathroom, should have slip-resistant backing or double-sided carpet tape applied to them.

  • Appropriate storage

Appropriate storage of the items is important for their easy reach.

  • Grabbing bars

Grabbing bars should be installed on the shower wall.

  • Wearing the right footwear

Wearing the right footwear with non-skid soles and a good fit is important.

  • Cleaning the floor

Cleaning any liquid, grease, or food spilt on the floor is important.

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