In the past four months, my husband and I have witnessed two falls which resulted in elderly women hitting their faces on the sidewalk. Rather than being able to break the falls with their hands, both women's faces bore the brunt of it. And in both cases, it was a bloody mess.
Did you ever wonder why seniors tend to fall more easily than younger adults? Actually, there are a variety of reasons, including a poorer sense of balance, weakness, a loss of flexibility, and problems with their vision. Additionally, as they lose their endurance, they also lose the desire to do a lot of walking, thus exacerbating the problem. Older adults need to keep walking, to exercise those muscles, and to build up endurance so they can better prevent the falls from occurring.
Statistics show that approximately 2.8 million seniors are treated in the ER annually as a result of falling. And once they fall, there can be devastating results. Many older adults have trouble bouncing back following a fall and suddenly their independence is at risk. It's not uncommon for us to answer the phone here in the office and hear, "My mother's in need of care. She fell recently and now she can't stay alone in her home."
Families are faced with the often unbearable task of placing their loved ones in facilities because they can no longer trust them to be safe in their own homes. Or they call companies like ours for round-the-clock care. It's a dilemma no one wants to face. That's why it's important to make sure seniors are doing the proper exercises to build up endurance, strength, and balance.
DailyCaring.com has an excellent video demonstrating 10 simple fall prevention exercises for seniors. And that's what we're looking for here -- PREVENTION! Before a fall costs your loved one their independence and health, why not encourage them to work on these exercises on a regular basis.
And for those who already have caregivers providing care to their elderly loved ones, ask them to watch the videos as well and incorporate them into their care plan. In the end, everyone will benefit.