Fear of Falling is a Major Contributor to Actual Falls Among Seniors
Prevents Seniors from Participating in Activities that Would Build Strength, Balance, Says LivHOME’s Bunni Dybnis – Exercise, Proper Medical Care, Attention to Home Safety Are Important
March 27, 2013 // Franchising.com // Los Angeles – Falling has always been a serious concern for seniors, and for good reason. The injuries sustained in falls can be extremely serious for older adults.
However, the fear of falling itself is a big problem. This fear is a major contributor to actual falls because it prevents seniors from participating in the very activities that would build strength and balance and protect them from fall-related injuries, says Bunni Dybnis, Director of Professional Services at LivHOME®.
Dybnis discusses the reasons seniors fall and the steps that can be taken to prevent falling in Episode 34 of The Senior Care Podcast by LivHOME.
“Fear is a major factor contributing to falls among seniors. When seniors are afraid of falling, decreased confidence leads them to refrain from the very exercise and physical activities that would help them maintain strength and balance,” Dybnis says.
Other common physical causes of falling include medications that induce sleep or drowsiness, muscular-skeletal conditions like arthritis, and visual or cognitive impairment. On the environmental side, slippery surfaces, poor lighting, loose rugs and household items on the floor acting as obstacles in a senior’s path also pose risks.
“Prevention can be as simple as making a few key changes to the home environment and to physical routines,” Dybnis explains.
These changes can include:
- Exercising to enhance strength and balance
- Overcoming fall-related fears
- Limiting sleep- and drowsiness-inducing medications
- Addressing and treating any underlying medical conditions
- Having hearing and vision checked regularly
- Installing sturdy grab bars in home bathrooms and hallways
- Removing clutter from floors and surfaces
- Ensuring that there’s adequate lighting in the home
- Wearing appropriate, flat shoes and non-skid footwear
The podcast episode, titled “Fall Prevention,” can be found on The Senior Care Podcast’s homepage, www.livhome.com/podcast. Listeners can subscribe via RSS feed, email or through the iTunes store. The episode has a run time of 12 minutes, 33 seconds.
LivHOME is one of the nation’s largest providers of professionally led at-home care for seniors. The company is dedicated to finding solutions that enable older adults to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Based in Los Angeles, LivHOME delivers high-quality at-home care throughout California as well as in Arlington, Virginia; Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Silver Spring, Maryland; and The Woodlands, Texas.