Slips and falls are, unfortunately, a common occurrence for seniors. One out of every four senior adults falls each year in the United States. Preventing these falls is paramount to you or your senior loved one’s health. Today’s blog from Phoenix Home Care & Hospice explains the dangers of slips and falls for our clients.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 36 million older adults fall each year. Of those, 3 million are treated at the emergency room. Sadly, 32,000 older adults die from injuries sustained from these falls.
Injuries from falls are debilitating and limit a senior’s mobility, particularly because it takes longer for seniors to heal. One out of every five falls leads to an injury, such as a broken bone or head injury.
This is where having a caregiver, even part-time, can help your senior loved one. If you don’t have time, home health aides from Phoenix Home Care & Hospice can assist you.
Why Slips and Falls Are Common in Older Adults
Why are slips and falls more prevalent in older adults? There are several reasons.
Declining physical fitness. Many adults aren’t as active in their older years as they were when they were younger. This can lead to weaker muscles and bones, which exacerbate mobility problems.
Impaired vision. Elderly adults also have more difficulty seeing as they age. They might not see the edge of a carpet, the arm of a chair, or an obstacle lying on the floor.
Medications. Certain medications have side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, or low blood pressure. If you or a loved one takes sedatives, anti-depressants, cardiovascular drugs, or some pain medications, discuss how to prevent slips and falls with your care team.
Chronic diseases. Some chronic diseases that affect the elderly may contribute to physical or mental difficulties that lead to slips or falls. Arthritis causes less mobility and strength. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases also cause muscle weakness along with cognitive impairment and balance disorders.
Healing from surgery. Are you or a loved one healing from surgery? This can be a factor in slips and falls. Consider a loved one with decreased mobility due to surgery in the arms, legs, hips, or back. A home health aide from Phoenix Home Care can help you heal after a hospital stay or surgery while assisting with mobility issues.
Obstacles in the home. Obstacles are more than just things strewn on the floor. Edges of carpets, pets, poor lighting, and lack of safety equipment (such as handrails) can cause slips and falls in the home.
Why Slips and Falls Are Dangerous to Seniors
In addition to hospitalizations and severe injury, slips and falls can have health consequences beyond the injury itself.
Complications. Complications from an injury may linger for months or years. Seniors without good physical fitness may take longer to heal from a muscle or bone injury, and that can affect their overall physical and mental health over time. Physical therapy can help. You can learn more about physical therapy at Phoenix Home Care & Hospice.
Delayed healing. If the slip and fall injury happens shortly after surgery, you or your loved one may face delayed healing from that medical procedure. Another consideration is that medicine needed for pain following the slip and fall might interfere with medications you’re already taking.
Increased stress. Mental health goes a long way to improved healing. That’s why Phoenix Home Care & Hospice believes the best healing happens at home. Adding an injury can make you or your senior loved one feel sad and depressed, which can affect their healing outcomes.
Talk to Phoenix Home Care & Hospice
The staff at Phoenix Home Care & Hospice specializes in caring for clients at home, where we believe in new beginnings for our clients. Contact Phoenix Home Care online or call toll-free 1-888-830-2388 to learn how we can help you or a loved one heal.