About one-third of all seniors over 65 will have a fall this year. Many are left with serious injuries requiring medical attention and perhaps hospitalization. Staying safe from falls is more than just trying to be careful. A better prevention is knowing exactly why seniors fall and overcoming those obstacles.
Here are three reasons:
After a senior’s first serious fall, they can become afraid of falling again. Their fear could cause them to avoid activities and become something of a couch potato. But, as we know, less activity can lead to obesity, stiffness of joints, weak muscles, and poor balance. These conditions could increase the risk of another fall, only perpetuating the cycle of falls and fear. It’s important to not allow the senior in your life to be fearful of being active.
2. Poor Eyesight.
As we age, our senses begin to decrease. It’s why many seniors need glasses when they previously had perfect eyesight. But it doesn’t stop there. Unfortunately, balance is a sense that diminishes as well. Tiny sensory nerves called proprioceptors determine where our body is in space. When we lean too far in one direction and are at risk of falling, these proprioceptors trigger a reflex, allowing our muscles to activate and we can catch ourselves. But as we age, our proprioceptors pick up less information than before, making reflexes slower and falls more likely.
Isolated and lonely seniors tend to fall more frequently. Why? Often times, seniors don’t realize when there are unsafe areas in their homes. Studies show that we become blind to potential dangers in spaces in which we are familiar. Where a visitor or caregiver may notice when a corner of a rug has come loose or a magazine is on the floor, the senior living alone may not. Then, if the senior does fall, the situation becomes more dangerous if she doesn’t have someone there to help her or to call for emergency help. Having a social network in place or a trusted caregiver, such as Freedom Home Care, can often mean the difference between safety and severe injury.
Falling is one of the most frightening things that can happen to a senior and his family. But with some caution and knowledge, seniors can avoid the cost and pain of being a victim of falling. Freedom Home Care’s services help seniors stay safe. Call today to more about our trustworthy and compassionate caregivers.