According to a study led by University of New South Wales Professor Stephen Lord from Neuroscience Research in Sydney, Australia, “Fear leads to a downward spiral for older people.” He noted that senior adults between the ages of 70 and 90 tend to experience a fear of falling. As a result, fearful seniors may become less active which leads to a loss of strength and balance. This reduced physical activity, strength and balance, then results in falls. Dr. Kim Delbaere, another colleague, noted both falls and the fear of falls can substantially reduce senior adults’ quality of life and independence. It also contributes to institutionalized care of the elderly.
The following modifications to fall risk factors are recommended by the British Medical Journal, Medscape Medical News, and the Loyola Center for Fitness:
- Improving posture and balance by sitting up straight in a chair and holding the abdomen in can help strengthen weak muscle groups in the back, core, hips and legs. This improves mobility and limits risk of falls.
- Marching in place, heel walks, improving ankle flexibility, and practicing quick steps and sudden stops can lead to safer gait and balance.
- Vision correction or specialized visual devices can improve poor vision and improve the ability to avoid tripping hazards.
- Regular physician visits and the reassessment of psychoactive and other medications can reduce psychological distress, depression and social isolation.
- Home safety modifications and/or the use of safety devices and equipment can reduce home hazards.
Do you know someone who…
- Lives alone?
- Has family out of the area?
- Wants to be independent and in their home?
- Has experienced recent hospitalizations?
- Needs someone to check on them from time to time?
Community at Home offers services to help reduce your loved one’s fears. Our Senior Care Management services offers a consultation or in-home assessment to evaluate personal safety and risk of falls as well as physical and psychosocial health, nutrition and financial needs. Together a care plan is created and designed to increase your loved one’s health and safety at home. The online store offers medical products that are specialized to address the home environment. For further information on Community at Home’s services call 317-621-4663 (HOME) or toll-free 877-621-4660 or visit our website at www.eCommunity.com/seniorcare.