LETTER F- FALL PREVENTION IN ELDERLY
The thought of falling during ambulation scares nearly 68% of the septuagenarian population. The concept of falls being a part and parcel of old age needs to be modified. Immense research has proved that with correct preventive techniques the risk of falls reduces by nearly 85%. This has an effect not only psychologically but also economically.
Falls are among the leading causes of death and major injuries in the senior population. From brain & spine injuries, fractures of hip to neurological impairments, a lot can disturb their life. The approach required is not to worry about the expenses and consequences of fall but to divert our attention towards preventing it from grass root level.
We all know that prevention is better than cure, so it is essential to keep in mind the following points:
*Over All Health Condition: A regular check-up rules out the possibilities of hidden blood pressure, blood sugar, breathing and hearth problems.
Most elderly opt to stay passive about participation in their health activities. A good counseling to educate them the importance of balanced diet, regular exercises permitted by their health and active lifestyle will help them lead a quality life.
*Always opt for complete assessment of Ears and Eyes– Any ailment in ears can affect balance especially if one experiences dizziness.
Similarly unclear vision also leads to falls that could have been easily avoided.
*Rehabilitation for any type of joint pain and neurological conditions is also necessary as sometimes pain while walking and a tendency to avoid it leads to unusual weight bearing and loss of balance.
*Keep a track of the regular medicines taken by them as some drugs are known to cause dizziness and lack of judgment that may cause a fall.
Research also suggests that increasing physical activity can be an effective component of fall prevention programs. Activities that improve strength, balance, and coordination can reduce the risk for falls.
Incorporating exercise programs such as progressive muscle strengthening, balance training, and a walking plan, individually tailored for each by experts helps to reduce the fear of fall as well as induce confidence in patient.
Minimizing environmental risk such as high steps, wet floors, uneven ground, low lighted areas, lack of handles and inability to use walkers, wheelchair can also boost the self-reliance among the senior group.
Timely consultation with physicians about medicines and with physiotherapists about exercise regime and energy saving techniques, balance protocols and lifestyle management will make it easier for them to prevent falls and its consequences.
Let’s maintain their pride, address their issues and work religiously on fall prevention technique to gift them an enjoyable old age.