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Prevent Falls Avoid Fractures

A fall at home is a major hazard for elderly…

A minor fall by a senior can result in fractures of hip, spine, ankle, pelvis, leg, forearm and hand because bones of elderly are brittle due to osteoporosis, which is thinning of bones. Chances of suffering a fall are high among elderly because of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, weak muscles, low or high blood pressure etc. Medicines being taken can cause weakness or drowsiness. Compounding the problem is the weak eyesight many seniors suffer from.

For an elderly person to suffer a fracture is a misfortune is more ways than one. Fractures requires surgery and elders with limited means will find the expense a burden. Elders may have hypertension, diabetes, kidney or liver disorders and these ailments complicate surgery. Post-surgery, lying-down will be necessary for a few weeks and often there would be no one to attend to him or her during that time. At times, even after surgery the patient is left with some deformity or disability.

Take maximum precautions to prevent falls…

A reasonably healthy elderly person would have been living an almost-normal life, but a single fall can make his or her life topsy-turvy. Hence it is extremely important that seniors as well as their family members take utmost precautions to ensure that a fall does not take place in the first place. Studies reveal that old people are prone to suffer falls in the early morning hours while going to the bathroom or while in the bathroom.

Houses should be made elder-friendly by removing all tripping and slipping surfaces. Seniors should exercise frequently to improve balance and to increase leg strength. Equally important are the precautions to be taken to prevent falls, which are listed in Resources below.

Resources
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1. Keep a light switched on at night so that you would be able to see well.

2. Prior to getting up from bed, sit for a couple of minutes and move your legs.

3. Always wear your spectacles so that you are able to see clearly. Keep the spectacles in an accessible place such as a side table near the bed.

4. Reduce tripping hazards inside the house. Keep the passage to bathroom free of obstructions such as toys, chairs etc.

5. Provide non-slip mats in the bathing area. Avoid stepping into the bathroom if the floor is wet.

6. Install grab bars in the shower area as well as next to the WC.

7. If you have problem in steady walking, take support from a walker or a walking stick.

8. Extreme care is needed while having bath. Rather than standing, it is preferable to sit on a plastic stool and have bath.

9. Visiting bathroom on waking up at night may be risky. Elderly males can consider using urine bottle or condom drain. Elderly women can consider using a chamber pot.

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