Fall Prevention for Protection and Peace of Mind
Statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded that millions of people age 65 and older fall each year. Furthermore, 1 in 4 older adults fall yearly. However, less than half of them tell their physicians. When an individual experiences fall once, it doubles their chances of falling again. Our team at Guardian Home Care recognizes the importance of fall prevention; thus, we’ve developed training, oversight, and procedures to aid in decreasing the chances of injury.
At Guardian Home Care, we focus on the four main components of fall prevention:
- The risk factors in your home play a key role in about half of all fall incidents. That’s why during our in-home assessment, our Registered Nurses follow the CDC Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults to make certain the client is living in a safe environment.
- The lack of physical activity contributes to weakness and the chances of falling. Our team encourages frequent exercise and movement. We partner with our client’s physician and/or therapist to customize and individualized exercise program.
- Some medications or combination of medications can result in sleepiness of dizziness, which increases one’s risk of falls. Hence, we provide medication management services to make sure the medications are taken properly. At the same time, we inform the client’s physician should any negative side effects occur due to the medication. Our case managers can also accompany our clients to their appointments, if needed.
- Poor eyesight increases the chances of fall incidences. Our caregivers are able to deliver one-on-once care and stand-by assistance or hands-on assistance with ambulation.
According to the World Health Organization:
- Almost 650,000 individuals die from falls annually.
- Over 37 million of falls result in medical attention due to severity.
- Falls is the second deadliest accident in the world.
- Older adults aged 65 and above are more likely to experience falls.
With the data above, senior falls can be considered as a global health concern. The number of fall incidents may seem high, but these only include the reported cases. According to some experts, the actual number of falls may be even higher as many unreported falls were observed.
Although most falls are non-fatal, senior falls greatly affect their quality of life. Falls can lead to muscle compression. Approximately 30 to 60 minutes after the compression, the muscles start to collapse. As a result, the elderly may feel pressure sore or dehydrated. For sever falls, they may experience pneumonia or hypothermia.
As the number of senior falls continues to rise, several older adults tend to limit their activities to avoid falling. This can hamper their overall quality of living. A sedentary can lifestyle further results in depression, isolation, mental decline, physical impairment, and cognitive decline. Hence, as a family member, you must encourage your senior loved ones to stay active. To keep the worries away, you may also hire one of our caregivers to assist your loved ones in their daily activities to avoid falls.
Guardian Home Care strives to helps our clients live an independent and quality life. As such, we consider all factors that might contribute to senior falls. These factors will be based on the client’s assessment, which will be conducted by our healthcare team. Some of the factors we will look into include:
Intrinsic Risk Factors
- Medical conditions
- Cognitive and mental decline
- Psychological factors
- Visual impairment
- History of falls
- Poor mobility and gait
- Nutritional deficiency
Extrinsic Risk Factors
- Improper use of assistive devices
- Clothing and footwear
- Home hazards (e.g., slippery floor, poor lighting, etc.)
With Guardian Home Care, not only will we work to address the consequences of falls, but we will also prevent its occurrence. Our team of health professionals will identify possible safety risks by:
- Assessing your home for potential fall hazards
- Suggesting home modifications based on the assessment
- Providing therapeutic interventions to improve physical coordination and balance
- Recommending appropriate assistive devices
- Educating the clients and their families about fall prevention
Home Safety and Fall Prevention
Falls are a leading cause of injury among seniors, and they don’t just happen out of nowhere. In many cases, there are underlying causes involved, including:
- Balance problems
- Certain weather conditions, such as ice, snow or rain
- Heart or lung disease
- High blood pressure
- Impaired vision or hearing
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or pain in hands and feet
- Side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications
Know the Signs of a Recent Fall
Despite the high incidence of falls in older adults, many times they go unreported and unrecognized by the caregiver unless a hospital or emergency room visit is necessary. Failure to report even a minor fall can be a serious problem because the fall may indicate a potentially dangerous problem.
If you are a caregiver, be aware of any signs of injury that may be related to falling. These can include:
- A change in walking speed, stability or step
- Any new bruising, bumps or cuts
- Complaints of pain, dizziness or loss of balance
- Protecting certain parts of the body unnecessarily
- Swelling or redness of a joint
Fall Prevention Strategies
The best way to start your fall prevention plan is by making an appointment with your loved one’s physician. The physician will want to evaluate your concerns, as well as you or your loved one’s medical condition and lifestyle. This includes:
A physician can review medications for side effects and interactions that may increase you or your loved one’s risk of falling.
Be prepared to provide details about a fall, including when, where and how the fall occurred. Also, discuss instances when you or your loved one almost fell but managed to grab hold of someone or something just in time.
Any Other Health Concerns
A physician can determine if certain health conditions may be affecting mobility, muscle strength, gait or balance.
Fall Facts and Myths
Below are some common myths that many older people believe to be true. Have an honest conversation with your physician or loved one to debunk some of these untruths about how falls occur and can affect a person’s lifestyle:
Myth: Falls only happen to other people.
Fact: In the United States, one in three older adults—or about 12 million—fall every year.
Myth: Falling is a part of aging.
Fact: Falling is not normal, and precautions can be taken to help prevent a fall from happening.
Myth: If I limit my movement, I’ll reduce my risk of falling.
Fact: Balance, strength and range of motion can be considerably improved by staying active.
Myth: Using a walker or cane will make me more dependent.
Fact: A properly fitted walking aid may improve stability, mobility and confidence.
Myth: Staying home will reduce my chances of falling.
Fact: Falls occur more at home than in any other setting.
Are you or your loved ones at risk of falls? Take this quiz from CDC STEADI program.
- Center for Disease Control— STEADI Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries
— March 23, 2017
- National Council on Aging
For more information about home care and our services in general, or to book a free consultation don’t hesitate to call us at 215-444-7544 or contact us today.