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At Home Senior Care: Mobility and Falls

Jul 7, 2017 by Kristina Butler

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among American seniors, falls are the number one cause of serious injury, hospitalization, and death for those over 65 years of age. Nearly a third of seniors suffer a reported fall each year and many more fall but do not receive treatment. While there are many causes of senior falls, including dizziness, medication, and accidentally slipping on hazardous surfaces, the primary risk lies with impaired mobility.

 

A loss of mobility can alter a senior's sense of confidence, and researchers have found that a loss of confidence is a major contributor in senior falls. When seniors hesitate, or do not move with confidence, they tend to lose their balance more frequently. They are also less likely to move with purpose, which increases the risk of a fall. In many situations, the fear of a fall can lead to a self-fulling prophecy. Because the senior is afraid of falling, they hesitate, delay, and do not move with confidence. As a result, they actually do end up falling. Thus, by increasing a senior’s confidence in their ability to move safely, they can reduce their risk of a fall.

 

One of the primary ways seniors can increase their confidence is through flexibility and strength training. Often, this is accomplished with the help of an at home senior care provider or therapist. By increasing leg strength and flexibility, seniors are able to recover their balance if they begin to fall.

 

An altered gate also leads to many senior falls. While seniors tend to use assistive devices such as walkers and canes when they are out and about, they often forego these helps when at home. It is no surprise, therefore, that over 75 percent of senior falls occur at home. Many times, seniors do not use assistive devices at home because they are not convenient given the size of the walkways or the layout of the home. At home senior care providers can help your senior loved one clean, arrange, and order their home in order to make it safer. Adding grab bars, railings, and banisters in the bathrooms, hallways, and stairs can also help immensely.

 

Making sure doctor's orders are followed and physical therapy is performed after a stroke or other impairing ailment is also important. At home senior care providers can help your senior loved one stay motivated, on-task, and meeting their goals. Further, they can help with local transportation, which is often an issue with impaired mobility.

 

In short, impaired mobility is a major reason for senior falls. The good news is that with Comfort Keepers at home senior care support, seniors can improve mobility, gain confidence, and decrease their that with Comfort Keepers at fall risk all at the same time. 

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