As people age, their balance and joint movement sense start to suffer. Poor balance, falls and stumbles are among the most common for the elderly in this age. Every third person aged 60 and over who lives in the community falls at home each year in India. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related prolonged hospitalizations, fractures (e.g. broken hip, broken ankle), head injuries, spinal cord injury, loss of mobility and independence, reduced quality of life, deaths, etc.
What Causes Falls?
Find your enemy, as they say. Some causes are predictable and preventable.
- Health Factors: Severe health condition and disturbed mental alertness, Loss of muscle mass, grip strength and balance, mobility problems, slower reflexes, muscle weakness, poor balance and poor posture.
- Social and Economic Factors: Lack or limited social support or connections
- Environmental Factors (Indoor): tripping hazards, such as clutter and inadequate lighting.
- Environmental Factors (Outdoors): Uneven sidewalks or pathways, Steps without handrails or marking on the edges, or building design/maintenance. Lack of accessible, safe housing and transportation.
Elderly Care Tips to control falls at Home?
1. Keep your body active:
- Get regular exercise, especially walking.
- Do exercises to strengthen the muscles.
- 5-6 hours/Week Moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
- Do a variety of activities that improve strength and balance (lifting light weights, tai chi), endurance (walking, dancing) and flexibility (tai chi, stretching).
- Physiotherapist for elderly recommends about the best type of exercise program for you
2. Make your home safer
- Wear shoes with non-skid soles
- Use night lights in your bedroom, bathroom, hallways and stairways.
- Remove throw rugs or fasten them to the floor with carpet tape.
- Tack down carpet edges.
- Have grab bars put in your bathtub, shower and toilet area.
- Have handrails put on both sides of stairways.
3. Do regular check-up
- Check every year for vision changes, cataracts, glaucoma and other eye problems.
- Checked Hearing every two years
- See your doctor right away if you feel dizzy, weak, or unsteady on your feet, if you feel confused, or if you fall.
- If your doctor wants you to use a cane or a walker, learn how to use it—and then use it all the time.
- Don’t smoke.
- Limit your alcohol intake to two drinks or less a day.