What cause falls in the elderly?
The NHS states “Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls”
Not every fall leads to serious injury but it can lead to isolation due to reduced confidence, leading to a loss of independence.
Common reasons for falling include: muscle weakness in the legs, swollen ankles and poor range of movement in the feet, dizziness and balance issues (caused by loss of blood pressure or neurological deficit), visual impairment. Long term health issues can further increase the incidence of falling.
The impact of falls
People who fall tend to lose their confidence, if not tackled early this can lead to social withdrawal and isolation. As you lose your confidence and self esteem you will tend to be scared to walk far or go outside and continue with your daily routine. This loss of mobility will have a subsequent effect on your general exercise tolerance and muscle conditioning. This leaves you physically weaker thus compounding the likelihood of further falls. Many falls may be unwitnessed or unreported to friends, family or medically trained people. If you are falling it is important to tell someone so the cause of your falls can be investigated by your Doctor and appropriate action taken immediately. If untreated falls can lead to fractured bones and other serious injuries that may involve hospital admissions and life changing illness.
How to reduce falls?
It’s important to drink lots of water to keep hydrated and to stay active and do regular exercise like walking. Also continue to use the stairs at home so your legs don’t get weak and if your legs feel weak then perhaps you need to see a physiotherapist to prescribe you with a walking aid and practice walking outside which can be intimidating after a fall.
Therapies on Thames have expert knowledge in helping you get back on your feet again after a fall. Our private Occupational Therapists can help adapt your home to make your life easier and our physiotherapists can design an exercise plan for you to help you become stronger and steadier on your feet.