A fall can be sudden or unexpected. Statistics have shown that falling is the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide especially in older people. Certain measures can be taken to lower the risk of falling especially in the home environment. However, when falling becomes the norm it is important to pay more attention to it.
In older people, the overall health status is a strong determinant for the risk of falls like poor eyesight, poor hearing, weak joints which can subject them to more falls. Other factors are
- Previous medical history or diagnoses of cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Impaired Vision/ hearing
- High body mass index
- Poor sleep /Obstructive sleep apnea
- Multiple/Certain medications
Other domestic causes of falls can be from a wet floor, poor lighting, rugs or carpets that are not properly secured, wires and cables lying carelessly, stairs, etc.
Ensuring the home environment is as safe as possible is key to preventing falls. However, here are some tips that can be followed;
- Regular health screening of the eye, ear and other body organs and parts to assess, detect and treat for any problem.
- Regular exercise may lower the risk of falls by strengthening muscles, improving balance, and keeping bones strong.
- Getting rid of hazards, that can cause a trip, or slip like wires, cables, wet floors, etc.
- Adequate room lightening
- Ensure handrails and hand grabs are available on the stairs and in the bathroom.
- Taking nutritious meals rich in calcium and vitamin D