Falls are one of the leading causes of injury for seniors. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries and over 95 percent of the fractured hips that occur in this age group. The National Council on Aging points out the negative impact fear of falling has on social activities for many seniors, even among those who have not suffered a serious fall previously. Many seniors experience increased isolation prior to moving to assisted living in Oklahoma City.
Falls are a huge risk to senior safety, health and well-being, and fear of falling can be deeply detrimental to a senior’s overall quality of life. Social connection is essential not just to mental and emotional health, but also to physical health. When seniors curtail their activities due to a fear of falling, gradually becoming more isolated, deteriorating health and depression often follow. Seeing a geriatrician can help turn this situation around.
If your senior loved one hasn’t already transitioned to a geriatrician for their primary health care provider, consider doing so. Because geriatricians specialize in senior health, they tend to be more alert to the more subtle cues that point to a heightened fall risk, such as irregularities in gait. If a senior experiences a change of vision, medication or other health-related change, consider a fall potential assessment. If a senior is deemed to have a higher risk of falls, a geriatrician can offer practical fall prevention advice.
Many people are not aware of how important good nutrition is to helping a senior avoid debilitating falls. Maintaining the strength of bones with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is important not only for helping injuries related to falls to be less severe, but also for preventing falls by preserving the health of weight bearing bones and joints. Vitamin C is important in the production and maintenance of the body’s connective tissues. A healthy diet helps preserve muscle tissue and vision.
Oklahoma assisted living communities often offer balance and strength training, yoga and other physical activity programs because these types of activities have been proven to help reduce falls. A careful review of medication is also important. Some medications are more likely to impact balance and falling risk than others. In some cases, medications can be adjusted to decrease falling risk. If a senior does have a high fall risk, affordable assisted living in Oklahoma City can prove to be a practical and pleasurable solution.
Environment is another factor in falls. Clutter should be avoided, as well as loose throw rugs. Good lighting is important, especially if a senior has vision problems. Adding safety bars to bathroom areas can be a lifesaver. Consider rearranging cabinets and other storage areas to avoid awkward reaching likely to contribute to falling. Make sure shoes, slippers and other clothing fit well to avoid tripping.
Contact us to learn more avoiding falls and senior safety.