As people age, falls become more common and can cause severe injuries. While there are many reasons for falls in the elderly, some are more common than others. Here are some of the main causes of falls in seniors and what can be done to prevent them from sustaining a fall-related injury.
Prescription medications known as diuretics are used in the management of hypertension and edema. These medications cause frequent urination and may also significantly lower blood pressure. Side effects of diuretics include dizziness, lightheadedness, and vision impairment. Diuretics are one of the most commonly prescribed medications, and seniors who get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and experiences side effects may fall. If this happens, talk to your loved one’s doctor to see about prescribing a lower dosage of the medication or a different antihypertensive drug that may be less likely to raise the risk for falls.
A cataract refers to the cloudiness or opacity of the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts can cause poor central vision, altered depth perception, and diminished peripheral vision. If your parent complains about poor vision, make an appointment with an eye doctor. A simple eye examination will reveal the presence or absence of cataract formation. If the physician sees evidence of cataracts, he or she may recommend surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the diseased natural lens of the eye and replacing it with a plastic intraocular implant, which substantially enhances vision and reduces the risk of falls.
Seniors who have dementia or are otherwise cognitively impaired should not be left alone. If you’re unable to stay with your parent on a regular basis, hire a home carer to assist with activities of daily living and ambulation so the risk for falls is diminished. People with dementia have an increased risk for falls at night because confusion and wandering behaviours may be more common once the sun goes down.
Ageing in place can present quite a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Newcastle families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our carers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
4. Chronic Pain
Ageing adults who experience pain in the back, hips, legs may fall when trying to rise from a seated position or when ambulating. Those who experience chronic pain should make sure they take their prescribed pain medications as directed by the physician. When pain has been eliminated, your loved one should be steadier on his or her feet and feel more confident when moving about.
For seniors with serious health conditions or mobility limitations, a professional carer can be a wonderful asset. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Newcastle families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for ageing adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family carers who need a break from their caring duties.
5. Doing Too Much without Assistance
Many seniors feel preserving their independence is crucial to their wellbeing, and they may feel hesitant to ask family or friends for help with chores or repairs around the house. Seniors who try doing too much and get fatigued or overworked may fall. Also, they may decide to use a stepladder to clean the windows or reach an object on a high shelf and become dizzy or lose their balance. Remind your loved one to ask for help or hire someone to help with repairs and housecleaning.
By being aware of the common risk factors listed above, seniors and their caregivers can take steps to lessen the risk of injury from falling. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Newcastle families can rely on expertly trained carers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while ageing in place. Call Home Care Assistance today at (02) 4089 3000 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.