It was National Falls Prevention Awareness Week a few weeks ago and it is worth reflecting on this day as it is so important to raise knowledge about the prevalence and danger of falls amongst the elderly along with what can be done about it. The Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust states that falls are the biggest cause of hospital admissions amongst the elderly but could often be prevented.
National Falls Prevention Awareness Week took place between the 21st and 25th of September in a bid to raise awareness about this public health issue and there was a lot of helpful information communicated that people could use to help prevent falls happening to their elderly loved ones. Falls are the leading cause of brain injury in the US and can be disabling or even fatal, so it is not an issue that can simply be ignored and brushed off as a part of ageing. It is always important to be aware of the danger of falls, but especially in 2020 when many older people have found it harder to be active and as a result may have lost strength and balance through being too sedentary.
Improving Strength & Balance
Therefore, one of the most important steps that you can take to help prevent falls is to make sure that those at risk are as active as possible even if this is simply a daily walk around the block. Additionally, activities that focus on improving balance and strength like yoga and Tai Chi can be excellent for older people.
Other ways that people can help to prevent falls are ensuring that people are maintaining a healthy diet, that their medications do not interfere with balance and making adaptations to the home to remove trip hazards. Footwear is another important aspect to keep in mind as certain types of footwear are known to increase the chance of falls, such as slippers, poorly fitting shoes and shoes with worn soles. Instead, it is worth purchasing a pair of high-quality shoes that are designed for the elderly with places like Mobility Solutions having a range of high-quality products.
Falls should never be overlooked as an inevitable part of ageing as they can be incredibly dangerous and often they are preventable. The key is for elderly people to stay active and find activities to improve their balance as they age, to lead a healthy lifestyle and to find ways to prevent falls whether this is making adaptations to the home or buying new footwear.