Prevent Falls Injuries In Elderly People.
Proper Precautions can prevent injuries caused by falls in elderly people. Fitness exercise, Balance and the older adults: Many of us have experienced the anxiety of having to deal with an older member of the family or a friend who incurred an injury as a result of a fall.
Falls among older individuals have been accepted and viewed as unavoidable accidents. But this is not necessarily so. The physical injury and psychological damage done as result of the fall can be averted if proper precautions are taken.
Hip and fracture neck of femur-are the most devastating, especially in older women with osteoporosis. Even if the physical injury is not debilitating, the damage to the psyche is tremendous, leading to fear and self imposed exile from any kind of activity which in itself leads to a decrease in health and fitness. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy – they are afraid they will fall, restrict activity, incur muscle atrophy, loss of strength and balance and therefore fall once again when they try to get around even to navigate the most minor tasks.
Elder Care – Falls Injury – Factors
Some of the most common causes for falls are: the immediate physical environment; poor fitness levels in terms of strength, balance, gait, agility and speed and reaction time; intake of sedating medication or anything that alters cognition; middle ear imbalance leading to vertigo and dizziness; vision problems; other medical problems like Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis; and improper footwear.
Prevent Injuries – Simple Modifications And Advice’s
Many of the above factors can be addressed by making simple modifications to the immediate environment and intervention to improve fitness levels, strength and balance.
Use antiskid tiles wherever possible. Fix railings in the bathrooms for support. Steer clear of carpets that may be tripped on, sharp edges and corners, flimsy stools and chairs, wet areas, stairs without railings and poorly designed or ill fitting footwear.
Some forms of medication, like sedatives, antihistamines, some antihypertensive can lead to dizziness, postural hypotension and hence a tendency to lose balance. Older adults who have been active all their lives, participated regularly in fitness programs and maintained their weight within the optimum range while also maintaining optimum muscle mass have a lower incidence of falls and injury when compared to the unfit, over weight, person.
This may be one reason to encourage people to keep exercising throughout their lives with alterations in routine depending on the age and their state of health.
An exercise program for the elderly should include balance and strength besides a basic cardio routine. The “principle of specificity” of exercise indicates that in order to improve the condition of a particular system; the exercise should target that system.