Fall prevention in the elderly
Falls are one of the most common fears of the elderly. Although any one could fall, the chance of falling gets higher and the after-effects of the falls become more serious with age. Falling causes injury, loss of mobility and even death. However, it is not something that should give you sleepless nights as these can be prevented, once you evaluate your personal risks for fall and learn about ways to overcome those.
Falls are common in the elderly age group because of normal changes related to aging such as poor balance, impaired vision, reduced mobility or side effects of medication. As we age, our reaction time to avoid hazardous situations declines as the nerves that conduct impulses from the brain to the muscles weaken with age.
By incorporating a few changes in your lifestyle, you can bring down the chances of falling quite drastically. Here are some tips to get started upon:
1. Exercise regularly: It is important to keep moving as regular exercise keeps your muscles stronger and nerves more alert. Yoga and other forms of exercise like Tai-chi are often recommended for seniors as they focus on muscle strength and balance.
2. Check your vision:Poor eyesight puts you at a high risk for falls. Plan to visit your Ophthalmologist for a vision check at least once a year. With age, the chance of developing glaucoma or cataract becomes quite high. This is more significant if you have diabetes or hypertension.
3. Review your medication with your physician: The changes in the different systems as people age, affect how the body is able to absorb, use and eliminate the excessive medication. The same medicines which you took earlier may have different effects with age. Some of them may cause excessive sleepiness or muscle weakness which again puts you at a risk for falling. So make it a point to discuss the medication you take, including the non-prescription ones, with your physician and understand their side-effects.
4. Use Mobility Aids: If you have problems with balance and coordination, your doctor will prescribe mobility aids like canes or walkers. These devices help you keep moving safely.
5. Make your home safer: Assess your homes for potential hazards and address them. Simple things like the way your furniture is arranged, avoidinguse of rugs or mats on the floor, de cluttering the floor, making sure the path from the bedroom to bathroom is well lighted have a great effect on your safety within the house.
6. Enroll in a regular health assessment program: There are a few healthcare providers who provide at home health assessment including checking your immediate environment for potential hazards and work with you to make your health better and home safer. This helps in promoting independent living.
Who is India Home Health Care and how can we help?
India Home Health Care Pvt. Ltd. is a leading at home health care provider based in Chennai and Bangalore. We offer quarterly visits by doctors and monthly or bimonthly visits by Registered Nurses to assess the health status of the elderly. We have developed a detailed health assessment tailored to the Indian population. Our Registered Nurses are trained professionals with experience in hospital setups and are therefore well equipped to handle any situation at the patient’s home.
Each visit is structured to identify any changes in the health status, in addition to reviewing the medication intake and check the environment of the patient’s home to assess the safety from a health perspective.