Fall Risk in Seniors
A fall can happen in the blink of an eye. By recognizing the conditions under which most patients fall, you can help them avoid what could be a serious complication in their progress toward better health. Here are the top five causes of falls.
1. Impaired Vision
Cataracts and glaucoma alter depth perception, visual acuity peripheral vision and susceptibility to glare.
Solution: Add color and contrast to identify objects, such as grab bars and handrails.
Many drugs (e.g. sedatives, anti-depressants) reduce mental alertness, affect balance and gait, and cause drops in systolic blood pressure while standing. Mixing certain medications increases these effects, causing falls.
Solution: Have a home care professional carefully monitor medications and interactions.
3. Weakness, Low Balance
Weakness and lack of mobility leads to many falls.
Solution: Exercise regularly to boost strength and muscle tone.
4. Home Hazards
Most homes are full of falling hazards.
Solution: Add grab bars in the bathroom, install proper railing on both sides of stairways, improve lighting, remove loose rugs and fix uneven or cracked sidewalks.
5. Chronic Conditions
Parkinson's, heart disease and other conditions increase the risk of falling.
Solution: Enlist specially trained caregivers to ensure that patients follow their treatment plans, assist them to doctor appointments and recognize red flags.
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