Fall Prevention as you age

Fall prevention guidelines from Faircape Health Occupational Therapists

As we age, our bodies change. These changes bring about new experiences and consequences of aging. For many of us, experiencing a new sensation in our bodies can be exciting, and for the rest of us, a new feeling in our bodies is often a warning sign, or an indicator of age, which comes with its own wave of emotions. Our loss of sensory elements is a clear indicator of age. A result of sensory loss is imbalance. 

Unfortunately, the risk of falling increases because of changes to your body, mobility, and vision. You never think that you will fall until you do. 

This seemingly unavoidable “consequence” of aging does not have to limit your activities; there are steps you can take to avoid a falling event. Falls among older adults have been found to be one of the leading causes of traumatic head injuries in individuals 65 years +. By being aware of the potential risks for a fall, you are able to avoid unnecessary pain and injury during retirement.

At Faircape Life, the health and well being of our residents is very important to us. We have outlined the potential risk factors for a fall, helping you better understand how to prevent it. 

It is also important to note that medication used to treat health conditions can potentially be a contributing factor to a fall event. Speak to your doctor about the medications prescribed and what the potential side effects might be.

Fall prevention in your life

This is not to say that, as a consequence of age, a fall event will be experienced. A fall event may never be experienced. However, it is important to reduce the risk of a fall. Along with medical and physical conditions, changes in vision and balance are also potential contributing factors. The loss of bone density with age also increases the risk of broken bones from falls. 

The list below could help you prevent a future fall in your home; 

  1. Keep moving – Regular physical exercise, including movement and strength exercises such as pilates, yoga, and water aerobics, can aid in overall balance.
  2. Eyes and Ears – Have your vision and hearing checked regularly. This can reduce future immobility.
  3. Wear sensible shoes – Properly fitting, supportive shoes with low heels or rubber soles can make your feet feel more secure with each step. Be careful on wet or slippery walkways and surfaces.
  4. Declutter – Remove clutter and other potential hazards in your home, which may cause an accidental trip.
  5. Light up your living space – Add more lighting to your living spaces to decrease chances of a misstep.
  6. Assistive devices – Introduce assistive devices into everyday tasks, eliminating unsafe movements.

International group of positive men and women sitting around table drinking tea with cake and having conversation, smiling and laughing, having home party or enjoying time at nursing home

Some other factors risk factors to consider:

  • The risk of falling is greater for women than for men.
  • A decrease in bone density contributes to falls and resulting injuries.
  • At least one-third of all falls in older adults involve environmental hazards in the home.
  • Regular exercise improves muscle tone and strength while preventing the loss of bone mass and flexibility.
  • 2/3 of those who experience a fall will fall again within six months.

The advantages of the Faircape Health system

The Faircape Health Interdisciplinary Team can assist residents with fall prevention. Our healthcare system combines the expertise of healthcare professionals, from different fields, to treat patients, ensuring optimal care and improved outcomes.

Our teams are well equipped to administer care and rehabilitation in the event of a fall. 

The Faircape Healthcare Fall Rehabilitation Approach:

  • Assessment of Fall Risk & Home Environment to identify changes that can be made
  • Recommend assistive devices that can reduce risk while moving or performing activities.
  • Referral to health professionals who can help with exercise program design
  • Referral to health professionals who can help with dietary or nutrition changes and support

Please get in touch with your healthcare coordinator or village manager for assistance if you’re a resident of a Faircape village and you need rehabilitation after a fall, or if you think you’re at high risk of falling and would like help from the IDT team.

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