Why Are Falls Dangerous For Seniors?
A fall can lead to changes in the mental state of a senior, such as depression, loss of confidence, slower response, withdrawn, unwilling to cooperate with caregivers, reduced daily activities due to fear of falling again and even develop dementia.
For some seniors, a minor fall may involve complications and require hospitalisation stay. The recovery process may take a longer time. The risk of severe brain damage can also lead to death.
Studies have shown that people with dementia falls twice as often than cognitively healthy older adults. Unsafe wandering is the biggest cause of falls in dementia seniors. Their poor sense of judgement and stamina easily leads to falls.
The use fo mobility aids such as cane or a walker can actually increase the risks of falls in older adults especially dementia seniors. Having to use a mobility aid is liken to having the ability to be multi-tasking.
Physical Therapy professor Susan Hunter explained. “Using a mobility aid means you need to have a lot more cognitive finesse and capacity to use the aid; you need to be able to maneuver around obstacles.”
Although there are no clear conclusions in the study between falls and dementia seniors relationship, caregivers need to be certain if their loved ones are capable of using the mobility aids independently.
What Are The Possible Interventions For Dementia Seniors?
Although accidents cannot be avoided, taking certain precautions can greatly reduce the risk of injury and death. The best preventive methods is to minimise hazards that may pose a threat within the living environment.
Make clear walking paths inside the home and having adequate lightings to reduce visual difficulties. Put on footwear for seniors which are easy to take off but also safely securing it to their feet.
Falls and associated outcomes not only harm the injured individuals but can also affect their families, friends and caregivers. The burden of taking care of them, time and mental effort, and not mentioning the financial cost involved if a hospital stay is required.
Dementia seniors are more likely to fall when they are not engaged in an activity, are unattened or when they wander. Regular exercise, cognitive training and increased social interactions are some of the ways to manage falls in seniors with cognitive impairment. Theraphy may also reduces severity falls.
Bed alarms also provide assurance to caregivers that the elderly in their care are safe in bed while they are busy with other house work in another area of the house.
You can read more on the product review of a Smart Caregiver Cordless Floor Mat – your solution to elderly fall prevention HERE.
Your Thoughts And Feelings
Falls can be a big worry if you are caring for some loved ones with dementia. Talk to a health professional such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist if your loved ones had a recent fall. Many underlying causes of falls can be treated or corrected.
If you have any feedback or thoughts to share on fall prevention, please feel free to leave your comments below.