National Institute on Aging reports that 33 percent of adults over the age of 64 fall at least once in a year. Falls can happen when a scatter rug slips on a wood or tile floor. It can happen when the floor is wet and leads to a slip and fall. It can happen on a loose stair, when a railing is broken, or lighting is poor.
The one thing about falls and older adults is that the risk of a fracture, muscle strain, or sprain is high. Every year, 3 million older adults end up the ER following a fall. More than 800,000 older adults who do fall end up having to stay in the hospital. Around 300,000 end up with a hip fracture that’s usually the result of a sideways fall. There are safer ways to fall, and your parents should learn what they are.
It can be hard to not react on instincts when you fall. Your parents need to remember that staying loose in a fall can help prevent injury. Instead of stiffening up, they need to bend and roll with the fall. Keep the arm joints loose. Don’t stiffen the arms and try to stop the fall with locked arms. That will harm the elbow and wrist joints.
Aim for Meaty Areas
If possible, land on the meatiest areas of the body. The buttocks are the fleshiest area of the body. Falling on the buttocks is going to cushion some of this fall. Thighs and back muscles also offer some cushion to the bones.
Protect the Head
It’s important to keep the head from hitting the ground. Tuck the chin to the chest in a backward fall. In a forward fall, turn the head to the side to avoid smashing the nose on the ground. If possible cover the head and face with the arms to allow the arms to cushion the fall.
Practice Fall Prevention
Fall prevention is equally important. Your parents need to have their vision checked to prevent falls that are caused by poor eyesight. Keeping muscles toned through regular exercise and a diet that includes enough protein. Watching for reactions like dizziness and nausea taking a medication is also helpful.
After a fall, there are two things you need to do for your parent. First, make sure you’ve addressed the reason for the fall. Whether it was a hazard in the home, a side effect of a medication, or muscle weakness/joint pain, it needs to be discussed.
Second, hire elder care services to help your mom or dad while they recover. Elder care aides support by providing companionship, meal preparation, housekeeping, and transportation.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Garland, TX please contact the caring staff at Althea Home care today at 972-245-4458.