Most human beings have some sort of innate fear of falling. Whether it be while going down steps or walking across a log, most of us don’t want to fall. As we get older, the fear of falling becomes even more intense. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. Knowing this fact can lead to even more fear of falling for the elderly. There are a few things that older people can do to help prevent falls or help falls be less detrimental.
According to the latest research, as people age, muscle mass and strength decline. This can result in falls and impairment while performing ADL’s or (activities of daily living). Just climbing in and out of a bathtub can pose considerable risk for an older person (Janssen).
There are a few things you can do to help prevent falls:
1) Exercise regularly (especially weight bearing). That’s because weight bearing exercise strengthens bones and muscles, and improves balance, coordination, and flexibility, which is especially important for older adults.
2) Review medications. Some medications and their interactions with each other may cause dizziness or drowsiness.
3) Get an eye exam. During the exam it may be determined that your eyeglass prescription needs updated or changed. This obviously means you may see better!
4) Get adequate Vitamin D and Calcium supplement. Vitamin D deficiency can be a common problem with the elderly for many reasons such as reduced skin thickness, diminished sunlight exposure, and poor diet. Vitamin D can be photo converted through the skin but can also be obtained through eating fatty fish, fortified milk, or a multivitamin. It is especially important to know that Vitamin D deficiency may cause muscle weakness. Evidence suggests that Vitamin D supplementation may preserve muscle strength and functional ability in high-risk groups, mostly home bound elderly people (Janssen).
5) Keep your homes safer by getting a free safety assessment. Advanced Home Health Care will provide this free service during all initial consultations.
By taking these 5 different suggestions under consideration, you may be able to reduce your risk of falling. There are many other ways to help prevent falls as well. There are also resources online such as www.cdc.gov, www.aarp.org, and www.learnnottofall.com. For more information, please contact Jessica at 402-490-3120 for a free consultation and safety assessment.
Janssen, Hennie, et al. “Vitamin D deficiency, muscle function, and falls in elderly people.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 75.4 (2002): 611-615. web.21 Feb. 2015.