It Just Takes One: Fall
In our years of caring for elders, we have found that falls and the consequent injuries are some of the top reasons why seniors or their loved ones begin looking for extra help or alternative care options. Sometimes, it just takes one fall to completely change an elder’s life.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 30% of those over the age of 65 fall each year. That number rises to 50% for those over the age of 80. Seniors who fall once within a year are two to three times more likely to fall again within a year. The elders in our lives count for 12% of the total population, yet account for 75% of all falls. Falls show no discrimination and can happen to men and women, as well as any ethnic group, although women are more likely to fracture a bone during a fall.
Falls are one of the leading cause of injury-related trips to the emergency room and also one of the leading causes for death in those over the age of 65. Elders who fall and sustain injuries are more likely to have long-term mobility issues and reduced independence. Levels of activity and sociability typically decrease significantly after a fall, often leaving the senior more dependent on others than before the fall.
We want each and every family with elder loved ones to know the risks that are involved with falls. Here are some of the top risk factors for falls as outlined by the World Health Organization:
- Living Alone
- Use of Cane/Walker
- Previous Falls
- Acute Illness
- Chronic Conditions
- Medications that may cause dizziness/drowsiness
- Cogitative Impairment
- Reduced Vision including Age Related Changes
- Difficulty Standing Up from a Sitting Down Position
- Foot Issues
- Neurological Changes
- Decreased Hearing
- Muscle Weakness
- Environmental Hazards (rugs, steps and bathrooms)
With this, we would like to also share some helpful tips on how to best prevent falls as outlined by National Institutes of Health – Senior Health:
- Remove anything that could cause a trip or a fall – loose rugs, cords out in the open, small furniture, etc.
- Make sure there is enough space between your furniture for walking
- Place non-slip strips on stairs or floors
- Ensure that your living areas, bedroom, bathroom and stairways have plenty of lighting
- Have handrails installed for all stairs
- Have grip bars installed for bathrooms
No one will ever be able to 100% prevent occurrences such as a fall, but at Cedarhurst we have designed, built, and furnished our communities specifically for senior living in order to keep our seniors safe and healthy and to help prevent falls. Nearly 50% of those who fall require help to get back up. At our communities, we have a constant support system in place and help is available as soon as a senior needs assistance. We feature emergency pull cords in each apartment as well as button pendants to allow our residents to notify us immediately after a fall or if they are in need of aid. Depending on your loved one’s level of care, hourly checks are also available. If your loved one has fallen in the past, this may be a good option to learn more about.
If you have any questions about Cedarhurst, our communities, amenities, services, etc. please feel free to contact us at 314-884-2000 or by contacting us through our website at: http://cedarhurstliving.com/contact/.
It just takes one phone call to answer any questions you may have and to help keep the elders in your life safe, happy and healthy.