According to a report shared by the Public Health Agency of Canada, 20 to 30 percent of seniors fall every year, and falls are still among the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among the Canadian seniors. If you are a senior and you are concerned about falling, or you constantly think about it then the first thing you need to do is to talk to your doctor. The doctor would help in addressing any illness that might lead to dizziness of weakness and might refer you to other services to ensure fall prevention.
Highlight the Risks
Another great strategy could be to highlight the risk factors for falling such as fainting, feeling dizzy, a fall incident in last six months, balance problems, muscle weakness in legs, numbness in legs, changes in vision, difficulty breathing, problems with routine activities like bathing or getting dressed.
Identify and Fix Problems
Once you have an idea of the risks factor, you can fix it by adopting a smart strategy. For instance, if you often feel too weak to support your weight, you can invest in a cane available at reputed websites like Halo Health Care and use it to move on your own.
Why Fall Prevention is Critical to Good Health for Seniors?
Fall prevention is critical to good health for seniors because a fall can trigger a lot of problems for seniors. When a senior falls, he or she may become unable to move for a few days or weeks, and this inability can lead to various problems such as:
- Negative Feelings About Self
Many seniors reading this article would admit that when they are unable to do anything like get up and go to the bathroom on their own, it triggers feelings of incompetence and negativity for them. This negativity, if not controlled might lead to serious mental health problems like depression and self-loathing.
What to Do
The negative feelings can be prevented by letting a senior try and move on her/his own as soon as possible or having positive talks about self-love with the senior.
- Serious Injuries
Another common side effect of a fall is that a senior might end up with long-lasting consequences like a break, cut or bruise. In worst cases, the break, cut or bruise could take weeks or even months to get fixed and hence the senior might need to bear a lot of pain.
What to Do
The best thing that can be done is to ensure that the senior gets the best possible treatment and is advised about future precautions like visiting the doctor if there is a lot of pain in the impacted area, even after months of getting a discharge from the hospital.
- More Falls
It is a fact that seniors who fall once are more likely to fall again in the future. In many cases, the fear of falling might lead to an actual fall because often the thing you dread continually happens no matter how hard you try to prevent it. The senior might also become obsessive about falling again and forget to live freely.
What to Do
In such a situation, the best thing you can do it to help a senior get over the fear of falling (maybe by seeking psychological help). You can also fix the problem that led to a fall earlier. For instance, if a senior fell down because he or she was wearing unsteady shoes, you can buy better shoes for them.
- The Expense
It is a fact that falls cost a lot of money to the seniors, their family or caregivers. When a senior falls, he or she might have to spend a lot of time at the hospital and take several medications. This increases the health care costs of the person. In the worst cases, the senior might need to buy mobility equipment like a wheelchair, and it could cost dearly too. The time spent by family members to take care of the senior while taking a holiday from work also costs as the pay of the caregiver might be deducted or worse, he or she might lose his/her job.
What to Do
Managing finances of the elderly in a smart manner can potentially take care of the health care costs. Hiring professionals to take care of the elderly is also a viable option if a family member can’t afford the time off.
Prevention is Better than Cure
The best thing a senior can do to prevent falls and the horrible consequences associated with it is to take care of his or her health by doing simple exercises, eating a healthy diet and being cautious at all the times. Taking help of tools like sturdy shoes or anti-slip mats is also advised because they are worth it if they help you prevent a fall.