Seniors Afraid of Falling Welcome Home Care
February 18, 2015 by
Tammy Bacco in
In Home Care
Many families have parents or other senior family members who have fallen in the past. When we age, our reflexes slow, our muscles become weaker and our balance isn’t balanced anymore. Add to these diseases like diabetes which affect circulation and eyesight. The Centers for Disease Control or CDC says that millions of seniors fall each year. These falls cause damage for which seniors must be hospitalized, but they won’t tell their doctors about the falls. Many falls are fatal due to head trauma. Let’s examine some of the causes and effects of falls.
Causes of Falls
The National Institutes of Health list several reasons why seniors fall, but these are the factors no one thinks about:
- Blood pressure drops are one of the major causes of falls. When seniors rise from a seated or lying position, they should stand still for a minute or two to let their blood pressure regulate itself.
- Sensory perception is another biggie. If seniors can’t see well or feel a change in the ground they’re walking on, a fall is certain to happen. A physician will know how to fix this.
- Medications, even herbal supplements, have side effects which include dizziness or confusion. Gotu Kola, for example, is used for many reasons but chiefly for hypothyroidism. It causes seizures which result in falls.
Effects of Falls
Hip fractures are the number one effect of falling. However, anything from the ribs to the legs can be fractured by falling. The trouble with falls is that seniors who do so deeply fear falling again. They will walk more stiffly, be less fluid in their movements and walk more slowly to avoid falling again. The muscles will stiffen up and the whole body will cringe. This lack of fluidity leads to impaired balance and serious lack of self-confidence. Seniors can see how this will cause a fall.
What is the Answer?
Seniors don’t have to be victims:
- Seniors have a great resource at their local senior center. Exercise classes will loosen those muscles, help restore balance and give them back their self-confidence. Home health care technicians can even help seniors do what exercises of which they are capable until they have the ability to get to the senior center or to an Advantage Plan-sanctioned gym.
- Their doctors can re-arrange their medications to ensure side effects won’t cause falls.
- Home care is available to help with every day activities seniors don’t feel confident enough to do themselves such as personal care, cooking, cleaning and the like.
- New glasses and properly fitted shoes would help seniors with sensory deprivation problems like depth perception.
- Home health care technicians will help seniors with items in their homes that contribute toward falling such as loose carpeting or the application of grab bars along any stairs or in the bathroom.
If you have senior family members who have fallen or are afraid of falling, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.