An estimated 20% of people over 65 years of age suffer from sudden falls. How can a fall change your life? Learn it here
Falls are among the top causes of hospitalization and death among adults, especially elders aged 65 years or older. It is essential to understand the potential consequences to prevent falls from happening at all.
The following blog is focused on what changes a fall can bring into your life and causes and prevention. So, stay tuned to know all about sudden falls.
Ways your life changes after a fall:
Countering your first fall not only brings a lot of depression, but many physical and emotional changes in your life. Following are some physical and emotional changes that you may counter after your first fall.
It Brings A Lot Of Fear :
After you fall, your fear of falling again becomes so intense that instead of taking steps to prevent future falls, it causes you to limit your activities. They also limit your outdoor mobility and other physical activities that you do in daily life.
It Affects Mobility :
Mobility is critical for many elderly people who live independently because they need to freely go up and down stairs or even get out of bed at night. If they suffer from a fracture, it can make them immobile and limit their mobility.
It Changes Your physical activity :
A fall makes you less likely to leave the house. When people feel depressed or afraid, they tend to isolate themselves, which leads to a lack of physical activity. This is especially true for elderly people because they may not find the motivation to seek social activities if a fall has affected them physically.
You Go Through Depression :
Studies have shown that many people who suffer from a bone fracture show symptoms of depression for up to 4 months afterward. This is because falls are extremely painful and can cause both physical and emotional changes in life. If you have fallen before, you know how depressing it can be.
It Can Cause weight gain :
Immobile people tend to experience weight gain because they are not able to move around as much. This is especially true for older people because their metabolism slows down as they age. Studies have shown that over 50% of elderly people who fall become overweight.
It Brings Changes In Your Daily Activities :
The loss of independence you experience after a fall makes it difficult to take care of yourself. This is especially true if you break a bone because you need physical therapy and exercises that can reduce mobility and cause injury. Your decreased activity level will also make it harder to care for yourself and perform daily activities such as cooking and cleaning.
It Brings Physical Conditions :
A number of studies have linked increased pain, stiffness, and arthritis in the joints. This is especially true for older people because their bones become more brittle after a fall, and they develop osteoporosis, which causes them to be more fragile.
Falls among seniors: Major causes
According to recent studies, one out of five fall cases results in severe injuries like hip fractures and brain injury. The falling issues have been seen mainly in the elder, and most anxious causes are weakness and old-age factors.
In this section, we will be looking at some other unknown causes so that people suffering from falling can take appropriate steps.
The leading cause of falls among seniors is impaired vision. They do not have a good line of sight and may hit some objects around them hard, leading to their downfall.
As per research, half of the seniors aged 65 years or above have severe eye problems. A study by New York Eye and Ear Infirmary found that one out of three aged 65 years or above may suffer from serious eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
Because of these reasons, one should always wear glasses when they are outside. If someone is already wearing the lenses, they must clean them regularly so that vision does not get impaired due to dust or pollution.
Our ears become less efficient with age, and it becomes harder to listen clearly, especially when there is a lot of noise around us. If the seniors do not wear their hearing aids and go out on days with noisy environments like construction sites, they may suffer from falls due to their poor hearing.
There are many hazards at home that can make a senior fall and hurt themselves badly. Some of them include tripping on rugs, poor lighting, slick floors due to spills and clutter around the house. If possible, one should avoid walking in their homes without proper shoes.
As we get older, our body becomes weaker, and we cannot do physical work like before, which may lead to a fall.
Physical health also includes the strength of one’s legs and muscles on the feet. If their leg muscles become weak due to lack of exercise, then there is a high chance that they will suffer from falls more often than not.
Many medicines can result in drowsiness, and this may affect their balance. One should always check the labels of the medications before taking them, especially if they will be going outside.
Alcohol causes dehydration, which can lead to a fall among seniors as well because there is a lack of water in the body, and loose muscles aren’t able to support them.
Caffeine is another substance that can cause a lack of balance in seniors, and they may suffer from falls due to it. With caffeine, one does not feel as tired, so they may think they are fit enough to do physical work, but this is not true.
The heart is the main organ of our body, and if there are any fluctuations in it, then there will be a problem with balance, which can cause falls among seniors. If someone belongs to an old age group and is suffering from cardiac issues, they should check with their doctor before going out alone, as they may suffer from an attack or a fall.
According to studies, more than 800,000 people are admitted to hospitals every year after a fall injury. The numbers can be taken down with some simple precautions that everyone can follow.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the most important reasons for most accidents. Falling because of ill-balance or dizziness is very common in the case of older people. Make sure you are physically fit. Keep doing your exercises regularly. If you are not following your regular workout routine, stick to it. Regular exercise builds up physical strength, improves balance, and reduces the chances of falling.
Make sure your eyes are healthy. Most elderly people face difficulty in adjusting to the rapid changes in their vision. They have to deal with issues like cataracts, glaucoma, etc. This makes them feel less confident about themselves, and hence, most of the time, they would prefer staying at home rather than venturing out.
Make sure your hearing is perfect. Some elderly people cannot hear well because of damage to the inner ear due to various reasons like wax buildup, infection, etc. They may avoid going out as they feel vulnerable in open environments, and hence, their mobility levels drop.
Studies show that alcohol dependence is very common in elderly people. They tend to consume alcoholic beverages more often than their younger counterparts. Even though moderate alcohol consumption is not harmful, it has been linked to the risk of falling. Alcohol makes an individual less alert and disturbs physical coordination, resulting in many types of accidents like slipping, tripping, or falling.
Make sure you have installed proper railings in your house to stop yourself from crashing down. Be careful with slippery areas inside your home, like tubs and showers. You can also put non-slippery decals on these surfaces so that you can easily maintain a good balance.
Wearing the right shoes is a must for everyone. If you climb the stairs, make sure your footwear has a good grip on the surface. Even if it gets dirty, clean your shoes with a cloth or a brush at least once a week to maintain proper hygiene and prevent any type of accidents from occurring.
If you are suffering from any kind of injury or disease that causes weakness in your body, the best option is to use a walker. Walkers can be easily used, and they provide you with great support and stability. They do not allow the user to fall accidentally because of lack of balance or muscle pain.
The first time falls not only hit you physically, but you also have to go through many emotional traumas. Following, we will discuss what stages a person goes through to cope with the first fall.
Coping with trauma can be a difficult thing to do. There are many ways that people deal with their unique thoughts, personal experiences, or preferences when dealing with such events, but the good news is we’re not alone in our struggles! Dr. Glen Johnson found some interesting findings of what goes on during different stages.
This stage is where a person will often try to deny the fall ever happened. They will say things like “it was no big deal” or “I’m fine.” This may last a few minutes or a few hours. The problem with this stage, for many people, is that it’s time wasted, and if the person could have been taking steps to improve the situation, they could have been a lot better off.
During this stage, people are often angry with themselves for not being more careful or perhaps even being clumsy. They may well voice their anger outwardly towards others at the time of the fall, but this stage doesn’t last very long, and generally, people will move on from this stage pretty quickly.
This is a stage where a person tries to find some way of making sense out of what has happened or perhaps trying to convince themselves that it wasn’t their fault at all. The bargaining phase may include things like, “If only I hadn’t done XYZ,” “I’ll never do it again,” “I’ll do this instead.”
This stage is where the person often feels very down or even depressed about what has happened to them. They may start to feel sorry for themselves and withdraw from their friends and family, which affects interpersonal relationships. This stage doesn’t usually last too long, and generally, people get over this stage pretty quickly. Still, there is always the chance of it carrying on if they allow themselves to get caught up in the negative thoughts associated with depression.
This stage is where a person comes to terms with what has happened. They may well still be angry and hurt about it, and they might not believe they will ever get over it, but this is the very last stage of coping with a fall!
Fall prevention is a severe concern for many older adults. If you are one of the seniors who want to prevent falls, try implementing these tips. You can also get our life alert service by contacting us at the given links.