Anyone can experience a fall but the elderly faces a higher risk particularly those who have long-term health issues. Falls are common but often an overlooked cause of injuries. Adults over the age of 65 will have at least one fall in a year.
Most cases of falls do not result to serious injury. Nevertheless, there is always the risk for a fall to lead to fractured bones and causes the individual to become withdrawn, lose his/her confidence and has a feeling as if they lost their independence.
What should I do?
If an individual experiences a fall, it is vital to stay calm. In case the individual is not injured and feel stout enough to move up, it should be done in slow manner. Roll the individual onto your hands and knees and look for a firm furniture such as a bed or chair.
The individual should hold on to the furniture using both hands for support and if ready, he/she slowly gets up. The individual should sit down and rest for a while before resuming daily activities.
If injured or unable to get up, the individual should call for help.
Look for something warm such as a blanket to cover the individual especially his/her legs and feet. Make sure that he/she is comfortable and change position at least every half an hour or so.
What are the possible causes?
The natural aging process puts the elderly at higher risk for a fall. It is important to note that falls are the usual cause of injury-related deaths among individuals over 75 years old.
Older individuals are prone to a fall since they might have the following:
- Poor vision
- Balance problems and muscular weakness
- Long-term health issues such as dementia, heart disease or low blood pressure that can result to dizziness and momentary loss of consciousness
There are various measures that can prevent a fall. Daily measures around the house include:
- Use non-slip mats in the bathroom
- Get help with lifting or moving objects that are heavy or hard to lift
- Mop up spills to prevent slippery, wet floors
Getting rid of clutter and making sure that all areas in the house are properly lit can prevent falls.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on falls is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to manage and prevent injuries from falls, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are located in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.