What are the Risk Factors & Common Causes of Falls in Seniors?
Did you know that falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in older adults? Studies show that the chances of falls increase over the age of 65. They can often result in severe injuries if left unchecked, which is you should know the causes and risk factors. The specialists from our nursing home in Rhode Island have put together this guide to help you better understand the reasons behind falls as you age so you can take steps to prevent them.
Risk Factors for Falls in the Seniors
The outcomes of falls are often quite severe and may lead to life-threatening situations. The reasons for falls in seniors can be classified into one of the following categories:
Intrinsic Risk Factors
They refer to the biological issues within your body and include the following:
- Increasing age
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Muscle and bone weakness
- Vision problems and poor posture
- Balance disorders such as vertigo
- Chronic conditions, including diabetes, circulatory diseases, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and more
- Previous falls and psychological reasons like fear of falling
Extrinsic Risk Factors
They include the external or environmental aspects that may increase your chances of falls, such as:
- Uneven stairs or floors
- Slick, slippery surfaces
- Outdoor hazards, including ice and snow
- Unexpected obstacles on the ground or a messy room
- Lack of proper lighting, grab bars, or railings
- Improper use of walkers or canes
- Reaction to medication
- Improper footwear and clothing
Consequences of Falls
Research and statistics indicate that over 250,000 hip fractures are reported every year, and nearly 95% of them are because of falls. Falls in seniors lead to minor to severe injuries, including bruises, cuts, fractures, and even brain damage. In addition to this, any disability caused as a result of a fall often leads to psychological changes and loss of independence. It may increase your fear, leading you to be more sedentary, which ultimately affects your metabolism and lifestyle.
Minimizing Extrinsic Home Hazards to Reduce the Risk of Falling
Here’s a room-by-room checklist and tips by the experts from our nursing home to help make your place safe and reduce falls:
- Ensure the paths in your home do not have any obstructions and are spacious if you walk with the support of a cane or walker.
- Repair or replace any broken pieces of furniture to avoid mishaps.
- Make sure the floor and tabletops are free of clutter.
- Keep pathways clear of wires, cords, and other obstacles.
- Have a night light on for better visibility.
- Store personal items and clothing at waist level to ensure easy access.
- Keep a phone and an extra pair of eyeglasses close to your bed.
- Install lamps with a simple switch for easy access and a night light to enhance visibility in the dark.
- If you frequent the bathroom at night, consider adding a portable commode chair near your bed to reduce moving around in the dark.
- Keep commonly used items on a cabinet that’s easy to reach.
- Replace throw rugs with slip-resistant mats.
- Keep the floors free of grease, dirt, and clutter.
- Be sure to wipe spills immediately.
- Have a night light on for better visibility.
- Install grab bars on the wall next to the shower, inside the tub, and next to the toilet.
- Place non-slip strips or a secure rubber mat on the floor.
- Be sure to mop puddles on the floor and repair any leaks immediately.
- Ensure shampoo, soap, and other items are accessible.
- Install a railing on both sides of the stairs.
- Repair broken or loose steps immediately.
- Ensure adequate lighting with a simple switch at the bottom and top of the staircase.
- Replace any stair treads or loosened carpet promptly.
- Remember to repair uneven flooring and replace loose, broken tiles and floorboards.
- Remove frayed carpets and slippery throw rugs.
- Ensure that all carpets are correctly secured to avoid any mishaps.
- Ensure the areas around ramps or steps have adequate lighting and support.
- Repair any uneven stairs, sidewalks, or walkways as soon as possible.
- Keep the pathways neat and clear of any obstacles.
Reducing Intrinsic Risk Factors to Prevent Falling
In addition to minimizing the risk of falling in your home, it is beneficial to stay healthy and safe while also working on improving your balance and strength. You can consult a physical or occupational therapist to identify the fall risk factors and come up with efficient ways to overcome them.
Here are a few ways for you to deal with the risk of intrinsic factors of falls:
- Always wear properly fitted footwear that has slip-resistant soles.
- Make sure your garments do not drag around the ankles or feet.
- Visit your doctor for yearly vision and hearing checkups.
- Have balanced, nutritious meals to strengthen your bones, muscles, and eyesight.
- Consider wearing an alert device so that you can get immediate help in case of an emergency.
The Holiday Cares About Preventing Falls for Our Residents
The Holiday skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Manville offers short-term post-surgery rehab to help you regain your strength after a surgery or illness, as well as long-term stays. We have a dedicated professional team to cater to your needs and ensure your well-being. We treat our residents with the utmost care, respect, and dignity they deserve. Located in a beautiful setting in Manville, our nursing home is easily accessible and just a short distance from Providence.
We have an excellent facility, including one level living with no stairs or elevators for you to worry about. The facility is equipped with sprinklers and a whole house generator to ensure a continuous supply of power.
Our in-house team of qualified nursing staff and therapists offer the best possible care. In addition to this, we provide individualized care planning and a variety of amenities to ensure you are safe, healthy, and comfortable.
If you are looking for a nursing home near Woonsocket, Rhode Island, feel free to reach out to us by calling 1-401-765-1440. You could also book a tour of our nursing home and rehabilitation center by filling out our online form.