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Statistics on old age falls

Graphic of statistics around elderly falling rates


Here at Gold Age we are experienced in the care of elderly people. This covers many aspects of their lives. For instance, we have spoken before about the right nutrition. Today, we would like to offer some helpful advice about preventing falls in the elderly.

Likely causes of falls

As people grow older, their bodies change. Things such as vision problems can occur. Lack of activity can result in weakened muscles. In turn this will affect the person’s balance. Osteoporosis may result in weakened bones. Stiffening of the joints, perhaps due to arthritis, is another potential problem. Further, medication can play a part in increased frailty or perception. Furthermore, chronic diseases may affect their physical strength. For instance, diseases such as Parkinson’s or diabetes. Perhaps the elderly person has suffered a mild stroke. In extreme cases, dementia may affect the person’s cognitive responses.

All of the above can put your loved ones at risk of a fall. Senior Care experts agree that helpful steps can be taken to prevent falls in the elderly.

Home Hazards

You may want to make some alterations, to your home or their’s, to keep them safe. Things such as rugs can cause tripping or slipping. It is better to remove them and replace them with full carpeting, floorboards or non-slip tiling. Next, address the problem of excess furniture and clutter. Clear pathways around single pieces of furniture are much safer. Too many lamps and bric-a-brac can leave an elderly person with nothing to hold on to.

Good lighting is essential. Not just in the living areas but also between the bed and the bathroom or toilet at night. Furthermore, slippery tiles in bathrooms and showers and bathtubs with no handrails offer no protection in case of a mishap. Although it may not be possible to remove steps inside the home, clearly marking them will help. A hand rail on the wall near steps can be made to look attractive and will be very helpful. Finally, make sure your loved one knows where their walking aid is at all times.

Personal Care

Although this may not readily come to mind, loose or long clothing can cause tripping. Make sure the fit and length of their garments is adequate. In the same vein, correct footwear is vital. Loose slippers or shoes that don’t fit properly can be dangerous. Also ensure they have regular vision checks. They may not be aware of their failing vision.

Showering aids such as liquids are less slippery than soap bars. They are helpful too if your loved one suffers from arthritis or back problems. Toothpaste comes in dispensers now. Moist towelettes smell nice and provide relief in between showers or baths. They are available for glasses too, and they are quick and easy to use. A visit to the supermarket will bring you and your elderly relative up to date with any innovations.

Nutrition, Hydration and Medication

Proper nutrition will keep them strong. As will adequate hydration, to prevent things such as fainting. That’s why maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is also helpful. Too much sitting can bring on stiffness and loss of balance upon standing up. You may want to watch that they are taking the correct medication and that only as prescribed. If you have to leave them on their own, personal or medical alarms will give both you and your loved one peace of mind.

The Garden

Many elderly people derive great joy from their gardens. However, that area requires attention as well to make it a safe personal paradise. Things such as uneven footpaths, steps, concrete borders, slippery surfaces and inadequate lighting can be hazardous. Here too, clutter must be removed. Remember to check their garden hose. Ensure it has a  storage device that is easy to use. Raising garden beds will make the activity of growing and weeding a pleasure instead of a chore. In turn, this will relieve any arthritic or back pain. Not to mention sparing their knees! And they will probably not have any falls.

Professional Help

Finally, you may wish to seek the assistance of professionals. Here are some of the people who can help. Beginning with their GP, physiotherapists can help with exercise suggestions to improve balance and strength. Podiatrists can give you information if your elderly relative has painful or swollen feet, circulation problems or bunions. They can also provide advice on suitable footwear.

Similarly, Optometrists play an important role in vision management. They can ensure the elderly person is wearing the right prescription strength glasses and advise on how to keep them clean. Regular checkups with these experts in their fields will help keep your elderly loved ones in prime condition. Plus the peace of mind everyone can enjoy knowing all is well. All that remains is for them to be happy and enjoy life, whatever their age.

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This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, please contact GOLD AGE AUSTRALIA:

1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324)

Overseas Callers call +61 (03) 9836 9507

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