Anyone can have a fall, but the elderly face the highest risk especially those who have long-term health conditions. Always bear in mind that falls are common yet overlooked cause of injuries.
Most cases of this injury do not result to serious injuries. Nevertheless, there is always a danger that an incident can result to broken bones and the individual might end up with low confidence, become introverted and feels as if they have lost their independence.
What to do for someone who falls
If an individual falls, it is vital to keep him/her calm. If the individual was not hurt and he/she feels strong enough to get up, it is recommended not to get up rapidly. The individual must roll onto his/her hands and knees and look for stable furniture such as a bed or chair.
The individual should hold on to the furniture using both hands for support and when ready, he/she must slowly get up. It is recommended to sit and rest for a while before resuming daily activities.
In case the individual is hurt or could not get up, use a blanket as a cover on the legs and feet. Make sure that the individual is comfortable as possible and try to change the position at least once every half an hour or so.
Potential causes of falls
The natural aging process simply means that the elderly face a higher risk for falls. Falls are the most prevalent reason of injury-related fatalities among individuals 75 years old and older. The elderly are more likely to end up with falls due to balance issues and muscle weakness, long-term health conditions and poor vision.
Falls are likely to occur when the lighting is dim, floor is wet or recently polished, carpets or rugs that were not properly secured, reaching up storage areas and when the individual is rushing to use the toilet. Another cause of falls among older men is falling from a ladder while performing home maintenance work.
Among the elderly, falls can be problematic since osteoporosis is a common problem. Take note that osteoporosis can develop in both women and men especially those who are smoking, drink large amounts of alcohol, use steroid medications or has a family history of hip fractures. Nevertheless, older women face the highest risk since it is often linked with hormonal changes during menopause.
Prevention of falls
There are various measures to prevent a fall. Simple measures that must be observed around the house include the following:
- Using non-slip mats in the bathroom
- Ask for assistance when moving or lifting objects that are heavy or hard to lift
- Mopping up spills in order to prevent slippery, wet floors
Always remove clutter and ensure that all areas of the house are properly lit to prevent falls.
Take note that the doctor can perform some simple tests to check the balance. In addition, all medications taken are reviewed in case their side effects can increase the risk for this injury.