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Methods of preventing falls in the elderly population

BY: Deena David | Category: Social Issues | Post Date: 2009-10-10

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   Deena David
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The most debilitating condition in elderly people usually occurs after a fall. A person who is old may be quite healthy and even leading a near normal lifestyle till a fall completely overturns their life. There are various reasons due to which older people may fall. When these causes are removed, it will help to prevent falls.

Old people usually have weaker bones and this may be due to the decreased calcium in their bones either as a result of the decreased nutrition that they may take. It may also be due to the osteoporosis that they may have started to get. What ever be the reason, there is a high risk of fractures when elderly person falls down. This is the reason that preventing falls is a very primary thing in preventing disability in old people.

Falls can make an elderly person completely dependent on the people around them. It will also make the person have poor quality of life. Other than poor quality of life, the life span can also reduce drastically because of a fall.

The most important methods of preventing falls in the elderly population are:

1. Medication:

Many of the medications that elderly people take for various conditions can cause dizzy spells and these may be the reason for the fall. The physician prescribing the drugs should be asked if the medications may cause dizzy spells. If they are likely to cause faintness, wither an alternative medication should be asked or the person taking the medications can try to avoid walking for the time the medicine is likely to have effect.

2. Railings:

Many houses do not have railings because when they were built, they may not have been designed for elderly people to live in them. As time goes by and people living in the house become older, there should be additions made to make the house friendly to the elderly people. Railings in bathrooms are very important as the bathrooms can be slippery and this compounded with the lack of railings can cause falls.

3. Lighting:

Lighting or the lack of it is one f the most important reason for falls in elderly people. They may not really be able to look at obstacles that are present in their path while walking and this may cause falls when they walk.

4. Eyesight:

Poor eyesight is another important reason for falls in elderly people. Just like poor lighting, poor eyesight also may cause them to be unable to look at obstacles that are present in their path while walking. Tripping on these obstacles may cause falls when they walk

5. Weakness:

General weakness can be another important reason for the person falling down. As they are weak and unable to balance themselves, elderly people are more prone to falls. When a person is young, they have more control and balance. When a person gets old, the balance and control decreases leading to high risk of falls.

These are the various causes of falls in elderly. Care must be taken to avoid these causes to give a fulfilling life to elders by preventing them from falling.

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