Did you know, one in three elders suffer from falls. Most of these happen in their own homes.
Theoretically, "falls are defined as inadvertently coming to rest on the ground, floor, or other lower level, excluding intentional change in position to rest". However, it is more important to understand the consequence of a fall. 20% to 30% of elders who fall suffer from mild to serious injuries which requires some amount of hospitalisation.
More than the physical cost the economic and the mental cost of a fall is what affects most. Any treatment for fall can result in an spend of between Rs.50,000 to Rs.400,000. It also results in disruption of daily activities for both the injured and the care giver.
How To Avoid or Minimise Falls?
Fall Prevention can be accomplished by working on the following areas.
1. Nutrition: A proper balanced diet ensures strong and healthy bones. It is the first step to ensuring fall prevention. Regular blood checks ensures a proper record of the results will go a long way in preventing falls.
2.Vision: Most falls are a result of poor vision. The video below shows how a normal staircase appears to a person with aging vision. It is important to get a periodic eye assessment.
3. Ears: Studies show balance comes from the vestibular system. It is important to prevent ear infection and also get a periodic assessment of the vestibular system in case of any balance issues.
4. Exercise: Exercise which improve ones gait and balance can go a long way in preventing falls. Specific asana's in Yoga can also help. However, the most important way is to start and continue the exercise. Regular physical activity will not only improve your balance but also your quality of life.
5. Home Modification: Home modifications can go a long way in making your home safer and secure. These modifications are to be considered as an investment or insurance against accidents which occur due to fall. A well thought out home modification involves interventions which are both functional as well as non intrusive. It should also focus on areas where there are the highest risks of falls like bathrooms, kitchen and bed side.
The best way to prevent falls is to critically understand the challenges which one faces and try to incorporate changes to lifestyle which can help in staying active.