Preventing Elderly Falls Through Improved Hearing

52 views

Published on

One of the top concerns among elderly citizens is the fear of falling. Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Growing evidence has begun to link falls to another common woe among many elderly individuals – hearing loss.

Published in: Healthcare
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
52
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Preventing Elderly Falls Through Improved Hearing

  1. 1. Seniors Home Care
  2. 2.  One of the top concerns among elderly citizens is the fear of falling.  Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States.  Growing evidence has begun to link falls to another common woe among many elderly individuals – hearing loss.
  3. 3.  A study by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging has suggested that hearing loss significantly increases the risk of falling.  Researchers determined that even “mild” hearing loss nearly triples the risk of falling.  Furthermore, every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss increases the risk by another 140%.
  4. 4.  There are several reasons for hearing loss’ impact on fall risk. Most obvious is the decreased awareness of one’s surrounding environment and other cues that help maintain balance and prevent falls.  Individuals with hearing loss also use more brain energy to compensate for the sounds they miss, which may tap into the cognitive resources that help maintain proper balance and gait, causing increased fall risk.  Researchers hope the findings of the study will help develop new ways to prevent falls, especially among the elderly.
  5. 5.  Participants who wore hearing aids in both ears performed better on standard balance tests when the hearing aids were turned on than when they were turned off.  They seemed to use sound information as auditory reference points or landmarks to help maintain balance.  Improving hearing through hearing aids or cochlear implants may help prevent falls for elderly individuals.  Thus, fall prevention becomes another benefit of regular hearing testing.
  6. 6.  If you suspect that you or an elderly loved one are having trouble hearing, speak with your health care provider.  The solution may be as simple as your doctor removing excess wax build-up in the ears.  They may also refer you to a professional who may recommend a hearing aid which are effective and available in many different designs.
  7. 7.  There are many ways for elderly individuals to prevent falls. Additional recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include: ◦ Regular exercise, with a focus on leg strength and improving balance. ◦ Review medications with your health care provider to identify possible side effects or interactions that may increase fall risk. ◦ Have vision checked at least once a year. ◦ Increase home safety through fall prevention modifications such as grab bars in and around the bathtub or shower and by the toilet; removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and loose cords; adding sturdy stair railings; and improving lighting throughout the home.
  8. 8.  Professional caregivers from a home care company can also be a great tool to prevent falls.  Caregivers can provide stand-by assistance for seniors at risk of falling. They can also prevent falls by minimizing clutter through light housekeeping.  Caregivers can additionally help with exercise and preparing healthy meals to maintain a strong body.  Furthermore, professional caregivers are trained to monitor an elder’s condition and spot and report any changes or concerns.
  9. 9.  Seniors Home Care (SHC), a privately owned company operated by a Registered Nurse, has been providing professional and compassionate St. Louis-area elder care since 1987. SHC offers complete personal and household services that allow seniors to maintain their dignity and independence, wherever they call home.

×