Fall is also called slip down, drop down, fall off, collapse, plummet. We also define a fall as the sudden involuntary transfer of the body to the ground or lower level than the previous state. Fall may have serious consequences for our elderly people. It increases morbidity, immobility and even mortality in old age. Post a fall, there can also be a drastic decline in the quality of life of an elder.

Research shows that individuals who are 65 years of age or older have an annual pretest probability of falling by 27%. Patients who have fallen in the past year are more likely to fall again (likelihood ratio 2.3 to 2.8), as are those who have clinically detected abnormalities of gait or balance (likelihood ratio 1.7 to 2.4). Source: NCBI

There are many causes of falls in the elderly which can happen at home:

  1. Ageing, being the primary cause of fatal injuries
  2. Osteoporosis
  3. Poor eyesight or poor hearing
  4. Physical incapability or low functional ability
  5. Loss of balance
  6. Incorrect transfer or shifting of body weight
  7. Loss of support
  8. Muscle weakness
  9. Dementia (One of the research says that the incidence of falls in dementia was 9118 per 1000 persons; Source:NCBI)
  10. Low blood pressure
  11. Vertigo
  12. Slippery floor

Other risk factors adding to the cause are cognitive impairment, sensory deficits, lots of medication use, and increasing age. Falls have very serious and dangerous consequences for the elderly such as hip fracture, head injury, leg fracture, coma, and in certain cases, even death. It can cause pain & suffering in the elderly, and may directly or indirectly affect the family members as well.

At Epoch, we are very conscious of the importance of preventing falls and injuries. To prevent any form of fall, we do a full assessment at the time of admission. This assessment comprises previous fall history, their gait and balance abnormalities, functional limitation, and clinical examination. We also take care of the following to prevent & avoid such falls:

  1. Identify elders who are at higher risk of falls and manage staffing and care plans accordingly
  2. Remove hazards like wires, and carpets that can increase the risk of fall
  3. Stay physically around with the elders who are prone to fall
  4. Grab bars in the room, washroom, corridors and wherever the residents may need support in walking
  5. Anti-skid tiles are a must for us!
  6. Monitor and regulate sleep- this helps us stay vigilant, esp with our residents who have dementia- they can easily wander
  7. Improve physically activity
  8. Ensure that they are in their comfortable footwear
  9. Maintain proper lighting in the room
  10. Proper nutrition consumption plays a vital role for their bone health & overall strength
  11. We regularize proper medical checkups to find disabilities/abnormalities or health updates.

Taking care of even smaller details can help prevent falls and can keep our residents safe from injuries and life-threatening situations.

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