When people think of injuries as a result of falling they typically think about elderly people that are suffering from disabilities like dementia, multiple sclerosis, and severe arthritis. While cognitive and physical disabilities are a common factor in the increased fall risk for elderly populations, it can happen to any elderly person in good health. As a company that specializes in mobility aids for the elderly, as well as those affected by cognitive and physical disabilities, HomeCARE furniture by ComforTek understands the dangers associated with fall risks in the elderly — but there are ways to reduce the risk of injury for your elderly loved one.
At HomeCARE furniture by ComforTek we manufacture mobility equipment for the elderly, more specifically that of mobility and mobility assist chairs. In today’s blog post we will be discussing the elderly fall risk, as well as a few of the solutions that are available to reduce the chance of your elderly loved one becoming injured as a result of a fall.
Why Are The Elderly At A Heightened Fall Risk?
You might be thinking to yourself “if my loved one is aging in place at home, why would they be at risk of falling?”, and we understand why that might seem alarming, but in truth, it is not the environment that they are in that is entirely responsible for their risk of injury. In fact, it is mostly their physical decline. Below, we have listed a few of the most common physical and physiological risks that could cause your loved one to be at a heightened risk of falling in their home.
General Decline - If there is one thing that is inevitable in life it is that eventually, everyone’s health will generally decline. As we age, we become less active, resulting in decreased bone health, muscle mass, and flexibility. When all of the above physical declines occur, it becomes harder for the affected person to balance, resulting in a heightened fall and injury risk.
Vision - As a person ages there is a greater chance that vision will become impaired, as age-related diseases manifest and progress. When a person’s eyesight is impaired, obstacles that were once easy to tackle, including stairs, can become incredibly difficult and dangerous.
Medication - Medication is supposed to help people right? Well, while medication can address, and treat the symptoms that it is prescribed for, they can also increase your elderly loved one’s risk of falling. Some medications can cause side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and low blood pressure, all things that can lead to a fall.
Surgical Procedures/Medical Treatments - An extremely common reason for elderly people to fall in their own home is their lack of mobility during the postoperative recovery time. Common surgeries like hip replacement, knee replacement, and other joint replacements are meant to increase the mobility of a patient, but can also leave the patient less mobile than they were before during their temporary recovery period.
How Common Is It For Elderly Individuals To Fall?
People often associate becoming injured as a result of a serious fall with the elderly without fully understanding the extent of just how common it really is. In the United States alone, one-third of the population over the age of 65 falls each year — later becoming even more common with over half of seniors falling annually at age 80 or above.
In fact, so many elderly people fall each year that close to 9,500 seniors die annually as a result of falling. But it doesn’t just stop there, in fact of all seniors that fall and become injured, two thirds will fall again within the next six months.
For the elderly, there are a number of factors that can lead to them becoming injured in a fall, and sadly, once an elderly person has become injured in a fall, they are more likely to fall again. To make bad news worse, injuries related to falling risks leave elderly people at risk of returning to the hospital more often, with the duration of their stay being longer.
How Can You Reduce The Likelihood Of Your Elderly Loved One Falling?
As a friend or family member to an elderly individual that is aging in place, there are a couple of things that you can do to decrease the likelihood that they will fall while also still accommodating their individual lifestyle. Below, we have made a short list of the two most common ways that you can increase home accessibility for people with disabilities as a result of old age.
Optimize Their Home - What is optimizing their home? While it might seem a little ambiguous, optimizing an elderly person’s home is simply making the home safer for them to move about in — and every home will be different. Some of the most common home optimizations include covering exposed steps with small ramps, adding railings in difficult to use places like the stairs and in bathrooms, as well as ensuring that all walkways in the home are clear of tripping hazards like cords or rugs.
Provide Them With Mobility Equipment For The Elderly - In addition to optimizing their home, consider giving them access to tools such as canes, walkers, and alternative home care furniture like mobility assistance chairs,
Let Our Products Help!
At HomeCARE furniture by ComforTek, we are known for manufacturing mobility assist chairs for caregivers and their loved ones that are suffering from mobility issues caused by cognitive or physical disorders, but what is lesser know is that we also make mobility equipment like homecare chairs that can be used by elderly individuals seeking to maintain their independence.
If your friend or family member is elderly and at risk of falling, we urge you to browse our home care chairs that can allow them to live independently and age in place, while also remaining safe from fall risks. Our independent mobility assists chairs are both proven, and effective, in facilitating a safe dining environment. Shop today, and contact us if you have any questions.