In people over the age of 65 accidental falls is one of the leading causes of death. An accidental fall can cause not only death to an elderly person but a serious injury such as a broken hip or wrist. Recently, a study was published looking into what causes these falls, is it tripping, slipping a loss of balance.
The study video taped 227 falls and determined that the majority of the falls occurred due to the individual losing their balance momentarily. This study is interesting because most elderly people do not remember the circumstances surrounding their fall, so it is hard to determine what happened after a fall. I deal with nursing home negligence and it is important to understand the causes of accidental falls as many happen within nursing homes.
Balance, why is it so important? Balance is associated with many different things, it is more than just something that you can attribute to your arms and legs; balance is also associated with your eyes and ears. Many different things can affect balance, generally people start to lose some of their natural balance as they age, however, loss of balance may also be a side effect of medication, high or low blood pressure, poor nutrition or anxiety.
The study I mentioned in the first paragraph attributed at least part of this lack balance in seniors to the non-use of wheelchairs and walkers by the seniors. The study found that even though 75% of those monitors said they used or needed a wheelchair or walker, only 20% of this group was actually using one of the ambulatory devices when they fell. This shows that wheelchairs and walkers are likely to be extremely helpful in preventing falls. However, the study also found that many of the recorded falls occurred during a transitional period when a person was attempting sit or stand. After a loss of balance the study found that accidental tripping to be t second leading cause of falls by the elderly.
It is important to understand how a loved one is cared for if they are in a nursery home or starting to reach the point where they need more assistance. Helping a loved one to keep their balance is important, and balance can be improved. There are some exercises that can help seniors improve their balance, such as yoga, Pilates, tennis and walking. In attempting to improve one’s balance it is important to strengthen muscles and joints, and this is true for all ages not just seniors. Additionally, posture correlates to balance and good posture will help improve your balance. It is important to keep an eye on your balance and they balance of someone you love, it could help prevent serious injury in the future.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.