Fractures from falls
Falls are very common in older people and the risk of falling and resultant fractures increases with increasing age.
A third of those aged 65 years and over will fall every year, rising to over 40% in those aged 80 years, compared with only 8% in middle age.There are many reasons why people fall. it can be a results of medication, or neurological problems. Sometimes, it can be caused by poor vision, or existing muscular problems, which make it harder to move easily.
Some of the falls can be avoided, however, if care is taken at home to make sure the environment is safe. Much of this is common sense, but often not attended to before an accident actually happens. Loose carpet, trailing wires and unmarked steps can all make falling more likely for an elderly person, as can bathrooms without non-slip mats and a lack of rails in the bedroom and bathroom for stability.
Yet so much of this is avoidable. If you have an elderly relative or friend, take the time to do an audit of their home to see if you can help make the environment a little safer and prevent a fall before it happens. Good lighting is also key to ensuring the person can see where they are walking easily.
You can also buy falls alarms,which are portable devices activated when the person wearing it falls to a 20 degree or more angle and lies without moving for eight seconds. A signal is sent to a portable pager, or an autodial alarm telephone is activated.
And don’t forget the importance of wearing the right shoes and slippers. Non-slip options are available and can be very helpful in fall prevention.