Elderly falls can be caused by a single factor such as simply tripping on a rug, but more often than not falls are caused by a combination of things, including pathological, physiological and environmental factors. As a person ages their risk for falling increases, with statistics showing nearly a third of all people aged 65 and over falling each year. That number climbs to 40% for those 80 and over. There’s no worse feeling then finding out your elderly mother had a fall and was only able to get help after the mailman knocked on the door a day later.
Common risks that lead to falls
An elderly person’s living environment can be full of obstacles that put them at risk for falling. You can help them by fall-proofing their home. Look for potential danger spots and make the necessary changes. Also, installing things such as safety railings and giving your elderly parent a monitoring device can help keep them safe and give you peace of mind.
Common environment risks include:
- Clutter and other obstacles in the home
- Loose carpeting or rugs
- Slippery bathtubs/showers/floors
- Improper footwear
- Improper walking aids
- Poor lighting
Common neurological risks include:
- Delirium (brought on by things such as infection, drugs, alcohol and environmental change)
- Conditions such as stroke and Parkinson’s Disease
Common physical risks include:
- Visual factors such as cataracts and glaucoma
- Musculoskeletal factors such as osteoarthritis, foot deformities, muscle weakening
- Heart/blood flow factors such as a abnormal falls in blood pressure due to standing, medication, etc.
Related: Danger of Falls for the Elderly (MyAgaingParent.com)
What to do when an elderly parent falls
The worst thing to do is ignore it when your aging parent falls, so make an appointment with your general practitioner to assess the fall and tell whether or not it’s an early symptom of a treatable condition or a side effect of medication. Also, do your research to see what can be done to prevent future falls. Consider consulting with an elderly care management service such as Encompass Senior Solutions. A care manager can walk you and your parent through all the necessary steps to help ensure the home is fall proof.
Related: Fall Prevention: 6 Tips to Prevent Falls (Mayo Clinic)
What about repeated falls?
Repeated falls could be a sign of more serious problems such as bone health. A visit to the doctor should be a priority where they can test for conditions such as osteoporosis. Also regular exercise will help increase balance and mobility. Consulting with an elderly care management service is also a good idea to help with not only your elderly parent’s falling, but other possible conditions as well.
Encompass Senior Solutions serving Omaha, Nebraska ” provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system after an elderly parent falls. Contact us today to schedule an assessment and organize a plan that details what to do after an elderly parent falls.
“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”