Most of us take the supposedly-simple acts of standing and walking for granted. We don’t live with the assumptions that we could trip and fall at any time. For both seniors and individuals with disabilities, however, imminent danger awaits if major precautions aren’t taken. Our friends over at HealthCraft Products refer to falls as an epidemic.
30 percent of adults aged 65 or older fall each year, reports their website. Over 37 million falls require hospitalization every year. As well, nearly 650,000 people die from falls on a yearly basis.
Closing The Gap Healthcare adds some more startling statistics. “In 2017, there were approximately 135,000 emergency department visits for fall-related injuries for individuals aged 65-79, and nearly 149,000 emergency department visits for individuals aged 80 and above,” they report. To reiterate, measures must be taken to prevent falls as much as possible.
What are the main causes of falls?
Closing The Gap pinpoints the two most common causes of falls as slips and trips and medication. Slips and trips are the main culprit for falls among seniors, their site informs. Often, these tumbles come as a result of obstacles in their way, a chronic condition or disability, a balance disorder or a cognitive impairment.
“Biological factors such as nausea, infection, weakness, pain, and dizziness can also put seniors at risk for falls,” says their website, “One study revealed that infections, in particular Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), were a precipitating factor in 8% of all falls. Essentially, any factor that changes a person’s gait (walking timing, foot placement, etc.) greatly increases their risk for falling.”
As mentioned, medication can also be an issue. The side effects of certain medications can include drowsiness, dizziness or a drop in blood pressure. All of these issues have been shown to increase a person’s risk of falling.
What are the key ways to prevent falls?
Firstly, it’s important to make an assessment of each of the rooms of your home. Particular attention should be placed on the bathroom and the kitchen. Both rooms are known for their sleek flooring as well as their water sources. In many cases, the combination presents easy-to-slip-on surfaces. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that about 235,000 people over the age of 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries that happen in the bathroom,” reports HealthCraft Products.
Secondly, it’s wise to work on your personal health and fitness. Maintaining good nutrition and engaging in regular exercise can help to improve mobility and balance. It’s also a good idea to regularly have your vision checked. Correcting problems with eyesight is a vital way to make sure you don’t trip over obstacles that may be in your way.
How can LifeCare Mobility Solutions help you to address the fall epidemic?
We proudly offer a variety of fall prevention products, courtesy of HealthCraft Products. They include products for both the bathroom and the bedroom such as the SuperPole System. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!