“The chances of falling and being seriously injured during that fall significantly increase with age,” said Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, Chief Clinical Quality Officer of BrightStar Care. “Identifying risk factors with your aging loved ones and taking precautionary measures will increase their longevity and provide peace of mind to families.”
Here are five causes of falls, according to BrightStar Care.
1. Impaired vision
Cataracts and glaucoma alter depth perception, visual acuity, peripheral vision and susceptibility to glare.
What’s the solution? Add color and contrast to identify objects, such as grab bars and handrails.
2. Home hazards
Most homes are full of falling hazards.
What’s the solution? Add grab bars in the bathroom, install proper railings on both sides of stairways, improve the lighting, remove loose rugs and fix uneven or cracked sidewalks.
Many drugs (i.e. sedatives, anti-depressants) reduce mental alertness, affect balance and gait and cause drops in systolic blood pressure while standing. Mixing certain medications increases these effects, causing falls.
What’s the solution? Have a home care professional carefully monitor medications and interactions.
4. Weakness, low balance
Weakness and lack of mobility leads to many falls.
What’s the solution? Exercise regularly to boost strength and muscle tone.
5. Chronic conditions
Parkinson’s, heart disease and other conditions increase the risk of falling.
What’s the solution? Enlist specially-trained caregivers to ensure that patients follow their treatment plans, assist them to doctor appointments and recognize red flags.
BrightStar Care takes a unique and comprehensive approach to helping you stay safe in your home. For additional information, including tips, videos, and a home safety checklist, please visit our Fall Prevention and Home Safety Resource Center.