A fall is defined as an event that causes a person to, unintentionally, rest on the ground or at a lower level that is not the result of an event, such as a stroke or an overwhelming hazard. A fall can happen to anyone; however, as people get older they are much more likely to fall. Falls can also become recurrent and result in injuries including head injuries and hip fractures. Falls and fractures are common and do pose a serious health issue. People over the age of 65 have the highest risk of falling (around one in three) and around half of people aged over 80 fall at least once a year.
As well as the physical effects, there are also psychological effects. After a fall, the elderly can lose balance confidence that makes them fear falling, so they become anxious or tense, which increases the risk of further falls.
The elderly are much more likely to fall or trip in the home for many reasons. Some medical conditions increase the risk, and medications can cause side effects, such as dizzy spells or lack of co-ordination. Decline in muscle strength and joint flexibility can also affect mobility. These elements, sometimes combined with failing vision, can be dangerous. Falls can results in injuries and hospitalisation in the elderly, but with over-75s the impact of a fall is even greater as they are the most common cause of death in this age group. It’s important, therefore, to try and prevent them as much as possible.
Common hazards in the home that increase the risk of falls:
These recently reported statistics are appalling when you consider that falls are preventable. At Blossom Home Care, we are aware of the risks and can help identify them in the homes that we visit. As well as spotting the hazards to help prevent falls, we can also provide care and support to people who have fallen and need assistance while they are recuperating at home. Find out more here: www.blossomhomecare.co.uk/services-offered/
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