As we all know appearance of grey hair which is a natural phenomenon of ageing, likewise other features such as generalized decrease in bone and muscle strength, degeneration and stiffness of joints, deposition of subcutaneous fat tissue, balance and coordination deficits, impairment of special senses like poor vision or hearing, decline in cardio respiratory efficiency, gastrointestinal and renal problems are also the indicators of ageing. As mentioned generalized declined physiological functions associated with any of the specific health condition are the root causes for increased risk of falls in elderly people.
If you are above 65yrs of age, and have experienced unintentional one or more falls in the previous year within or outside the home, then it’s time for you to pay attention to your health and wellness. WHY????
The study says that older people who have suffered a fall, just within a year about 57% are at higher risk of falling again and 31% are for 2 to 3 falls. In independent older community dwelling people, 50% of falls occur within their homes and home surroundings and the most common places being in the garden, on the slippery floors, bath rooms, on stairs, while getting out of bed etc.
These trivial falls ranks first for the cause of disability and death in elderly population it’s strange to imagine but the fact to be considered seriously.
Simple unintentional falls account for 9 out of 10 hip fractures in older people due to osteoporotic bones. Other common types of fractures include spine, wrist, ankle etc. Apart from fractures fall results in soft tissue injuries, head trauma, joint dislocations, loss of confidence (fear of falling) and restricted activity.
Hip fractures are a public health crisis of growing proportions, as hip fracture is a devastating event because it instantly destroys one’s independence. Approximately 25% will be dead one year after the hip fracture. Nearly 70% of those who survive the acute post-operative stage are discharged to a nursing home. Roughly half the hip fracture population return home after three months of rehabilitation and are at different levels of functioning. But only 25% of hip fracture victims ever regain their former level of independence. The remaining survivors are at different grades of disability, requiring supportive home care or nursing-home residence.
Falls are not a normal part of aging, so don’t be afraid of falling.
“PREVENTION IS A CHALLENGE! BUT PREVENTION IS FEASIBLE!”
Many falls can be prevented by making some changes in your lifestyle.
Four things you can do to prevent falls
- Begin a regular exercise programme: Exercise is one of the most important ways to lower your chances of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve balance and coordination are the most helpful. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling. Consult your physio about the best type of exercise programme for you.
- Have your Doctor review your medicines: Have your doctor review all the medicines you take, even the over counter medicines. Some medications or combinations make you dizzy or sleepy and can cause you fall.
- Have your vision checked: Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year for correct glasses.
- Make your home safer: Remove things you can trip over (papers, books, clothes and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk
Remove small throw rugs or use double sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using step stool.
Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
Use nonslip mats in the bath tub and on shower floors
Improve the lighting in your home. Hang light weight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
Have handrails and lights put in all staircases.
Wear shoes both inside and outside home, avoid going out bare foot or wearing slippers.
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