Falls and injuries, often severe, are on the rise as the population ages. The risk of falls (and harm resulting from them) increases significantly after the age of 65. And as the aging population continues to grow each year, more seniors are experiencing life-threatening falls, many of which result in long-term disability and reduced quality of life. Government agencies, nursing homes, hospitals, and medical associations are all having difficulty finding the best ways to address the situation. It has shown to be a delicate balancing act among competing concerns for safety, senior independence, and effectiveness. Here, we explore the risks of falls for seniors and what families can do to ensure the safety of their aging loved ones.
Real Risks from Falling
There are significant risks to falling in old age. In fact, falls are the number one cause of death from injury for those over the age of 65. Aside from this startlingly high fatality rate, last year, more than 2.5 million seniors were treated in emergency rooms across the nation as the result of falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A home caregiver can help your loved one age in place safely. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
The Underlying Causes of Higher Fall Rates
The number of acute fall incidents is rising among senior citizens. Part of this is due to the extended life spans of seniors. With an increase in life expectancy, there’s a higher number of individuals who are living long enough to develop age-related chronic conditions. The symptoms of conditions such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and stroke increase the likelihood of falls.
There are also side effects from medications to consider. The average senior takes anywhere from eight to ten prescriptions on a daily basis, and some medications can cause vertigo, vision issues, and shakiness. The more medications a senior takes, the higher the risk of medication complications, increasing fall risk as well as creating health concerns.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Denver live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Reducing Falls & Injuries
There are steps families can take to reduce their loved ones’ risk of falling, including:
- Working with physicians to closely monitor and address medication side effects
- Helping them maintain strength, balance, and flexibility with regular exercise
- Providing medical emergency alert pendants to alert medical professionals of falls
- Hiring caregivers to provide monitoring and support
Home and facility design can further reduce injuries. Using bright and contrasting colors on steps, tubs, showers, and other such features increases visibility. For example, the classic all-white bathroom can be a significant hazard for seniors. A black toilet seat and tub can stand out, reducing the chance of a fall occurring when a senior steps into the tub or sits down on the toilet.
Falls can be especially hazardous for seniors, so preventive measures are vital to minimize the risk of falls and ensure seniors’ safety. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care service. Denver families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371.