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Proactive and Reactive Fall Prevention

Posted by Valerie Stephen

August 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM EDT

fall preventionIt is important to us that the seniors in our lives are safe and healthy. One of the most significant threats to older adults is the risk of falling. We cannot eradicate all risks, but there are steps we can take towards fall prevention. Personal and professional assistance can help older loved ones to decrease their risk of falls. A significant factor in fall prevention is proactivity in keeping everyone safe.

Proactive Efforts 

Keeping seniors safe is the end goal for all caregivers! Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can be proactive in preventing falls. Some of these efforts seniors can do by themselves or with the help of caregiver guidance.

Healthy Habits 

Each year 1/3 of people over the age of 65 experience a fall. Removing environmental risk factors can help protect seniors, but healthy habits are fundamental in reducing falls. Did you know diet and exercise are proactive efforts to fall prevention?

  • Magnesium deficiency can cause dizziness and lead to an increase in falls.
  • While eating omega-3 fatty acids can help regulate blood pressure, promote brain health and protect your central nervous system.
  • Vertigo can be reduced with vitamin C and B6.
  • Calcium, vitamin K, and phosphorous promotes bone strength to protect in the case of falls.
  • Vitamin D helps the body absorb these minerals and nutrients.

Physical exercise is another crucial habit for senior’s risk reduction. When you continuously work out, you are making your body stronger and healthier. This helps maintain balance, prevent falls from happening, and protects the body from injury with falls. With stronger muscles, you have more strength to support your joints and bones, reducing risks.

Health Care Professionals fall prevention

Along with exercise, you can help protect the senior in your life with proper healthcare. A senior’s wellness is affected by much more than diet and exercise, so it is a healthy habit for them to visit their primary physician and have regular check-ups. Chiropractic care is also a great way for seniors to improve their mobility and balance. Seeing a chiropractor can help proactively protect seniors from falls and it can also be used for fall recovery. 

Reactive Efforts 

If a senior in your care does experience a fall, do not blame yourself. Accidents happen, and total fall prevention is unattainable. It is, however, attainable to implement reactive efforts. Every single fall should be followed up with a physical therapist visit. With a physician’s expertise and knowledge, they can prescribe a simple solution. A visit may also uncover an underlying condition, chronic or acute; early detection is key. 

According to an Age and Aging study, certain exercise and training after a fall could play a huge role in fall prevention. These exercises can be delegated with a physical therapist. Another retroactive effort of helping seniors reduce their risk of falling is to bring it to their attention. Most outpatients who recently experienced a fall are more conscious of preventing the trauma from repeating itself. Be sure to remind the senior in your life, 

“Take your time, you do not want to fall.”

Fall Protection

Taking measurements and active efforts towards senior fall prevention is beneficial for every caregiver and senior living community. Fall protection is the plan that follows a fall incident. Types of fall protection that those caring for seniors should implement are emergency call systems and emergency plans in case there is an accident.

If you are caring for a senior that lives alone, be sure to check on them daily or have another trusted friend or colleague check-in on them. If they do experience a fall, and are unable to move, it may be more painful with every moment. Emergency call and sensor systems can also help protect seniors from this issue. If you are caring for seniors in a community, be sure there is an action plan in case of emergency and monitoring systems to help keep seniors safe. 

If you would like to learn more about fall prevention for seniors download our latest eBook: Fall Prevention: Details and Ideas! New Call-to-action 

Topics: Fall Prevention, Caregiving

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