Senior Care TV

Senior Fall Prevention Guide

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Hey everybody, it's Bre from Affordable HomeCare, and welcome to this week's episode of Senior Care TV. Today, we're going to discuss winter and fall prevention. I figured now's a great time to discuss it, since we're right in the middle of winter. And it's a very important topic that needs to have some light shed upon. So I'm going to talk about things like why are the elderly more prone to falling and what are some things we can do to hopefully prevent a fall?

So studies have shown direct links between falling and colder weather. Each year, 2.8 million elderly patients are treated for fall related injuries and about 800,000 of those patients will require hospitalization. We know that there's a direct link between winter and falling for anybody, but the elderly are at an increased risk of falls.

So here are some reasons why. As we age the sensation in our feet can begin to decline. This makes it harder to balance, and losing our balance on slippery surfaces covered by ice or wet ground makes it increasingly risky to fall.

Most seniors are on medications. A common side effect of medications is often dizziness. So obviously dizziness and a fall go hand in hand. And unsteady gait, most seniors do suffer from an unsteady gait, which unfortunately does increase as we continue to age.

So what are some things we can do to prevent a fall from happening? The first one being plan ahead. Allow enough time to get where you're going. If you're rushed, the increase for fall is going to be greater.

Exercise caution when getting into and out of vehicles. Hold on to a door or somebody that you're traveling with for stability. If possible, wear appropriate footwear. You want to make sure your shoes are cleaned from snow and ice when you return home as well because snow and ice can freeze the slots of your shoes making for treacherous ground, even when you're indoors.

Make sure that the walkways are well lit and clutter-free hopefully there are handlebars to use and walk along the way. Remember your walker or your cane if you're supposed to be using one to assist you with ambulating.

And another big one that's just important in general is exercising regularly. Many falls happen because of muscle weakness. Do some strength building exercises. This can also help with your balance and coordination. You know, we can not change the weather, especially here in Michigan. We're stuck with it, but we can become more prepared, and more disciplined when it comes to fall prevention. Please share these tips with your elderly loved ones. I really hope it can help to prevent a serious accident from a fall. Thanks everybody. I look forward to talking to you again next week. Bye bye.