Falls among older adults prevention measures

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Predicting and identifying the risk factors and initiating prevention measures can prevent falls among older adults, and contribute to healthy aging

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Falls among older adults prevention measures

  1. 1. http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521 Falls among Older Adults - Prevention Measures Predicting and identifying the risk factors and initiating prevention measures can prevent falls among older adults, and contribute to healthy aging Falls among older adults is becoming a common occurrence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. The most disconcerting fact about falls among the elderly is that they can result in serious injuries which eventually limit independence and affect quality of life. Predicting and identifying the risk factors and initiating prevention measures can contribute to healthy aging. Falls – Risk Factors Risk factors for falls can be physical and environmental, some of which can be eliminated and others, managed. • Decrease in bone density or osteoporosis which happens with advancing age http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521
  2. 2. http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521 • Issues such as infection, cardiac arrhythmia, or dehydration which can signal the onset of conditions such as dementia, arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy • Changes vision, gait, balance and strength related to aging • Vertigo or dizziness which leads to balance impairment • General physical weakness • Certain types of medication • Prior falls and the use of an assistive device • Environmental and other factors such as poor housing, baths without handles, unsafe walking areas, ill-fitting shoes, and more Fall Prevention Measures to Maximize Elderly Well-being Falls are preventable. Taking the right precautions can go a long way in alleviating the disabling conditions that increase the risk of falls as well as maximize the function and well-being of older adults. Proper medical and environmental evaluation by a physician specialized in gerontology is the first step towards successful fall prevention. Fall prevention measures to deal with multiple risk factors may include the following: • Medication adjustments • Diagnosis and treatment of new and emerging symptoms and medical issues http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521
  3. 3. http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521 • Ophthalmologic evaluation to resolve age related vision ailments such as cataracts and glaucoma affecting their depth perception, peripheral vision, visual acuity, and so on • Physical therapy exercises to improve strength and range of motion • Measures to deal with environmental hazards both inside and outside the house such as installing handrails on stairs and steps and in the bath, reducing clutter in all living spaces, using nonskid mats or carpets in bathrooms, using sturdy step stool in kitchen, having a nightlight in bedroom, and adequate lighting in stairways • Participation in a fall risk and conditioning program Benefits of a Slip/Fall Prevention Program One of the best options when it comes to preventing falls among older adults is participation in the slip/fall prevention program offered by a professional multispecialty healthcare center. A doctor’s referral is necessary for enrolment. A detailed evaluation of the candidate is first performed to assess both the physical and environmental risk factors. Advice is provided on dealing with the environmental risk factors. A customized exercise program is developed to address the physical factors that contribute to the risk of falling. In-clinic and home exercises are recommended to improve strength, balance, walking speed, step length, http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521
  4. 4. http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521 flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. Measures typically include • Biodex Isokinetic testing and exercise to improve strength • Dynamic balance program to enhance balance • Gait training Successful completion of a slip fall risk and conditioning program with dedicated re-evaluation can help older people reduce the risk of falls, and stay fit and active longer, and improve the quality of life. Posted by HealthQuest http://www.hqbk.com/ http://www.hqbk.com/ 1-718-769-2521

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