Falls, the Beginning of the End

Written By Selinger Chiropractic on August 31, 2018

One out of every four adults over age 65 falls every year and surprisingly half of those people don’t even tell their doctor. [1] Falls are a serious matter and need to be addressed immediately. If you or a loved one has fallen or have a fear of falling act and tell your doctor. Your doctor can prescribe a fall prevention program and many are covered by insurance.

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One out five falls results in serious injuries requiring medical attention. [1] Falls can result in an elderly person being bedridden. Bedridden individuals have a high incidence of developing other health conditions such as; pneumonia, infections, bed sores, recurrent urinary tract infections, depression, mental illness, heart and lung disease, diabetes and obesity. A fall can diminish both health and quality of life.

A fall can also have an emotional effect on the victim’s loved ones. Approximately 3 ½ years ago my mother fell. The fall resulted in emergency surgery and later a reconstructive surgery. My mother was devasted, and so was I. My heart broke as I watched the most wonderful person in my life suffer and deteriorate. She developed leg contractures, leaving her legs in a permanent flexed deform-liked position. Her diabetes and heart conditions became worse. She suffered with depression and passed away too soon. Her fall was the start of her demise.

Causes of falls

Balance problems - Falls can also be caused by balance problems related to inner ear disorders, brain disorders, even neuropathy. Neuropathy decreases your ability to feel on your feet. Not being able to feel the ground can lead to a person not being able to adjust their footing for changes in floor contours and surfaces.

Medications - tranquillers, sedatives or antidepressants can cause drowsiness and fatigue which can result in a fall.

Muscle weakness – Weak muscles in the legs can lead to falls.

Vitamin deficiencies - Vitamin D deficiency can lead to muscle weakness. [1]

Measures to Reduce Risk:

See your doctor – If you suspect you might fall or you have fallen, have your doctor evaluate you for fall risk, check medications if they affect your balance or lead to drowsiness. If you are at risk for falling get a prescription for a fall presentation program with a physical therapist.

Exercise – slow moving exercises like tai chi, water aerobics and dancing can help improve balance, strength and coordination.

Eyes and ears – have your eyes checked and glasses updated to prevent vision impairment. Have your hearing checked as well. Hearing aids can alert you dangers in the environment helping prevent falls.

Foot wear – Closed shoes provide more support. Flip flops, sandals and heels can impair normal walking, leading to missteps and a fall. Make sure shoes have non-skid bottoms to prevent slipping.

De-clutter – remove anything in your normal walking area. There should be nothing on the steps.

Lights – Lighting can brighten up walking areas helping to avoid a misstep.

Use a cane – If you have a balance problem or an arthritic condition use a cane or walker.

Grab on bars -Install grab bars in needed areas the bathroom or other areas in your home.

Like I have discussed in this blog post, many causes of falls and prevention tips. But, some falls cannot be prevented because they are due to someone else’s neglect. A fall can result because someone neglected to wipe a slippery floor or not maintaining a walk way. We can’t prevent all falls, but reducing the risk decreases the odds of falling. Help prevent falls from becoming the beginning to someone’s end.    

Have a loved one at rick of falling?

If you or a loved one is at risk of falling, click on the link below the link to find a fall prevention program.

https://www.ncoa.org/ncoa-map/

 

Have a loved one that has been injured from falling?

Please give our office a call to see how and if we can help. Dr. Selinger received his doctor of chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College in 1996. He attained a Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York at Binghamton. He has completed training in acupuncture, active release technique and neuromuscular re-education. Selinger Chiropractic & Acupuncture was established in Lake Worth, Florida in January 2006. We would love to be the best part of your day. 

 

Reference

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/index.html

  2. https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/