A tumble can be potentially serious for seniors. Here are some simple changes you can make at home to reduce the risk of falls in the elderly.
If you have ever stubbed your toe on a step, tripped over a rug or slipped on a wet floor, you’ll know accidents can and do happen in the home. Home safety and fall prevention are even more critical for seniors, said Occupational Therapist Wong Huimin.
Statistics indicate that
one in three people above 65 fall each year but many more do not seek medical attention and are not accounted for. Falls may result in mild injuries such as bruising or sprains, leading to discomfort and decreased mobility.
Even more worryingly,
severe falls may result in broken bones or head injuries and death. Injuries that require a prolonged stay in hospital and/or surgery are not just a financial impact for the family but have deeper negative consequences.
“It can affect physical and emotional wellness,” said Ms Wong,
“Common problems reported include decreased movement, mood and confidence.” This may lead to less social and physical activity, resulting in increased dependence on others, isolation and lower quality of life.
In older people, falls can occur because of their medical or physical condition (intrinsic factors), or because of the environment or habits (extrinsic factors).
Ms Wong elaborated, “Falls occur most often in the bathroom, when changing position (from sitting to standing or vice versa; walking; etc.), and at night.”
Other factors can also increase the risk of falls in the elderly:
High blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, chronic dizziness, etc.
Decreased mobility, muscular weakness, poor vision, etc.
Cluttered floors/ walkways, wet floors, unsecured wiring/floor coverings, inadequate lighting, etc.
Reaching for items beyond arm’s length, neglecting to turn on the light when visiting the bathroom at night, etc.
Ensure your first aid box is within easy reach. Equip it with antiseptics, gauze and sticky plasters to treat minor falls and sprains.
Keep a first aid kit at home to address any falls in the elderly
Read the original article,
Safe Zone for Seniors (PDF).
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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