Fall Prevention for Seniors: 10 Must-Know Reminders to Stay Safe in 2023

According to study, the rate of falling among Singaporean seniors over the age of 65 in the community is 28-35% per year. Although falls do not just occur as we age, they are the main cause of serious injury in elderly individuals. Falls frequently happens because of one or more lifestyle factors. This would include your overall health or a chronic condition, along with potential safety risks within your home or neighborhood. 

For those older adults who already have osteoporosis, a bone disease that makes bones brittle or breakable, falls are especially risky. In turn, those elders with osteoporosis should take additional safety precautions to avoid falling.

Effective Fall Prevention Tips For The Elderly

Even the smallest of falls can have major physical effects, including fractures, which frequently affect the arm, leg, hip, and sometimes even the spine. If the hit was experienced in the neck and head, they might also result in severe traumatic brain injuries. If something like that occurs, you should send your elderly family member to the physician right away to make sure they aren't suffering from any brain damage or other problems.

Additionally, those who experience many falls may acquire a fear of falling, which might also result in limited mobility, weak reflexes, and withdrawal from daily activities. Insufficient physical activity leaves you with weaker, broken bones, which raises your risk of falling. While accidents or lifestyle factors could be to blame, there are still a number of measures to prevent falls.

1. Maintain Your Movement and Activity

Regular exercise can significantly reduce your risk of falling. Strength, stability, flexibility, and coordination will all be considerably improved by doing light workouts and activities like walking and swimming, along with some simple strength and balance drills.

If you are unsure of what activities are ideal for your senior family members, you can speak with a physician or physical therapist who can provide advice based on their care requirements. Additionally, exercising for at least 150 minutes per week will help to build stronger muscles, as well as improve range of motion and endurance.

2. Improve Bone Health

Osteoporosis, which occurs when bones are brittle and break easily, is a condition that affects most of our elderly.  Essentially, our bones will remain healthy if we consume enough calcium-rich foods daily. It also aids in maintaining strong bones to get enough vitamin D from sunlight.

The vitamin D in our diets aids in the body's absorption of calcium. Eggs and fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna are all sources of it. Also, take a leisurely stroll outside when the sun is up for the best chance of getting enough vitamin D; all that is required is 15 to 30 minutes of daily exposure to the sun.

3. Have Routine Eye Exams

Adults between the ages of 18 and 60 are advised to have routine eye exams every two years in order to retain healthy eyesight as they age. Seniors and individuals at risk should schedule these checkups more frequently. Elderly people should receive annual exams at least if they are 61 years or older. By doing this, your doctor can determine whether your prescription needs to be updated or whether you have any eye disorders that could compromise your vision and raise your risk of falling.

4. Stand Up Carefully

Make it a practice to get up slowly from your previous seat and take a moment to gather your senses before moving in order to prevent future falls. Most seniors can get the assistance they need when walking and moving far greater distances by using walking aids like canes and walkers.

5. Manage Medications

Some medications, such as hypnosedatives and antidepressants, can impair your coordination and balance and even make you feel groggy, drowsy, and lose balance which raises the likelihood that you will trip and fall. When you take a lot of medications, it is more likely that falls occur. Do talk to your doctor about your current medications and ask if there are any alternatives that might be recommended to help prevent falls.

6. Wear Appropriate Footwear

Elderly falls are significantly increased by strappy, heeled, and loose-fitting footwear are among the risk factors that may cause poor balance. Such a situation can, however, be resolved very fast. It is advised for the majority of senior citizens to wear non-skid shoes with rubber soles and low heels, as per the National Institute on Aging. They can have more traction and friction in these shoes, which can help them avoid slipping and falling.

7. Brighten Up Your Home

In general, one of the most frequent causes of falls in senior people is environmental factors like poor lighting throughout their home or community environment. Low lighting can also make it harder to perceive potential fall hazards that might be in the way or cause the body to be less stable, which increases the danger of falling. In light of this, make sure your homes are well-lit, among the safety hazards if you share a residence with an elderly person, as this poses a safety risk.

8. Consider Removing Some Furniture

By getting rid of extra furniture that could create health hazards for the elderly moving about their residences, you can make your home more accessible. Keep away from unsecured cords and wiring on the floor; wipe up spills quickly to dry the surface; and install non-slip mats on bathroom floors to avoid slipping that could lead to fractured bones or hip fractures, to name a few simple home improvements you can undertake.

9. Install Assistive Devices around the House

Utilizing assistive technology is strongly advised if you are staying with an elderly person, which is another house improvement to consider. Handrails for stairways, install grab bars for several bathroom areas, and higher toilet seats with armrests are a few helpful pieces of equipment you might think about implementing. Seniors might still feel independent and easily carry out their everyday tasks as a response.

If required, request a recommendation for an occupational therapist from your doctor. In a way, you can come up with additional fall prevention techniques with the aid of an occupational therapist or professional nursing care. Some options are reasonably priced and simple to install. 

10. Speak with a Falls Expert

There are indeed clinics that focus on falls in the elderly, however many individuals may not be aware of this. A geriatrician's assessment and a physiotherapist's evaluation of your muscular strength, stability, walking, and posture are often the first steps in the Falls Assessment Clinic procedure. The next step is a quick examination with a nurse who will evaluate your blood pressure, eyesight, memory, and other aspects of disease control. The nurse will also instruct you on fall prevention after discussing your history of falls if any.

Note the specifics, including the time, place, and manner of your fall. Prepare yourself to talk about times when you were on the verge of falling or a sudden drop but managed to catch someone's hand or grab anything just in time.. with no injuries sustained. These kinds of specifics could aid your doctor in identifying certain measures and fall prevention tips.

Prevent Falls by Creating Safe Zones at Home for Seniors

Preventing senior falls is undoubtedly preferable to treating them. Falls can have major repercussions for elders, including costly procedures, serious issues from being unable to walk, poor vision, head injuries, and even an impact on your independence. While getting older is a natural part of life, falling is not. Avoid letting falls influence you by maintaining the skills and knowledge you need to be active and safe.

While fall prevention might help a lot, some elderly people will inevitably fall at a certain time, especially when in senior group homes and assisted living facilities, like Red Crowns. In the event that this occurs to your elderly family member, make sure to consult their physician or physiotherapists in Singapore to determine the extent of the fall's impacts and how best to treat them.

Redcrowns aims to help you live your senior years happily.
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Effective Fall Prevention Tips For The ElderlyPrevent Falls by Creating Safe Zones at Home for Seniors

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