Find out the leading causes of injury in the elderly and how to avoid them and prevent the consequences being so devastating when they do occur.
According to reports from UK charity Age UK, falls are the most common type of injury experienced by older people aged 65 and over. They are also the leading cause of death in the over 75’s.
Injuries caused by falls and other accidents don’t have to be expected because you are moving into older age. Preventing injuries is one of the most important ways to protect your health as you get older and provide good care of the elderly.
Here are some of the most common reasons for injury in the elderly, and top tips on preventing them occurring:
Poor vision makes you more likely to suffer injury as an elderly person. When you age your eyesight deteriorated naturally, so naturally you won’t be able to see as well as you could. Particularly bright lights, evening lighting and a problem with spatial awareness and how close or far we perceive objects all cause vision issues. To avoid these problems you should get your eyes tested regularly to rule out conditions like glaucoma. If those issues arise treating them will help maintain eyesight. You should also keep glasses up to date and if you do develop an untreatable eyesight problem, seek support from social services or your local councilfor home adjustments and vision aids.
Your hearing may deteriorate with age which can make you less aware of things like cars, bicycles and other moving hazards, as well as smoke alarms and other warning noises. Regular hearing checks should be done to ensure you get a hearing aid when you need one.
How we relate to our environment is important in relation to safety. Your family, friends and live in carer should keep a close eye on your for signs of dementia to ensure you are safe in your environment. The sooner dementia is diagnosed, the sooner a senior can be placed in a safe environment whether that is the home, or a special assisted living facility for those with dementia.
Medication can be responsible for all kinds of tricky symptoms like dizziness, drowsiness, vision issues and nausea. If you are suddenly experiencing symptoms after starting a new medication, speak to your pharmacist or GP or let your home help or assisted living contacts know as soon as possible. It is also a great idea to mention all the medication you are taking before starting any new ones just to check how they might react with each other.
A Lack Of Exercise
A lack of activity means muscle, balance and coordination may be lost. This can not only lead to a higher likelihood of falls, but also increases the risk of a break when the fall occurs because bones become weaker with lack of exercise. Regular exercises and movement is important to keep the body strong and able to avoid falls, or avoid breakages when falls occur.
Injuries in old age can be very hard to recover from.
There is a lot that can be done to avoid injury as you get older, and aot to be done to ensure that the consequences of a fall or accident don’t have to be disastrous if they do occur.