Syncopal falls occur as a result of a brief loss of consciousness caused by inadequate blood flow to the brain. Older adults are at a higher risk for diseases that cause syncopal episodes. Mechanical falls happen as we get older because our agility and ability to compensate when we lose our balance deteriorates. A hip fracture is the most common ground-level fall injury we see in the elderly. Our bones become more brittle as we age, our skin reacts more readily to abrasions, and it takes longer to recover from a fall. These are important considerations for the elderly.
A: What are the consequences of a serious fall?
A: A fall by an elderly person can result in serious, even fatal, injuries. If a person who is taking blood thinners falls and hits their head, it can be fatal. Older people are already at risk of cognitive decline, and a head injury from a fall could hasten that process. A broken rib in a ground-level fall could lead to pneumonia or even death.
If you still need to be physically capable of working, a serious fall may jeopardize your ability to support yourself. If a fall necessitates the assistance of family or an assisted living facility, this can have a financial impact as well. In addition, the psychological and emotional consequences of a serious fall are significant. A fall may be the first time an elderly person realizes they are losing their independence, which can be depressing.
Q: Is falling an unavoidable part of growing older?
A: It's all about staying healthy and making wise decisions. Your risk of falling increases as you get older, and the risk of injury from a ground-level fall increases as your body ages. However, there are precautions that can be taken.
Q: Are there any strategies for preventing falls?
A: Without a doubt. Simple ways to avoid mechanical falls include wearing appropriate footwear and living in a clutter-free environment. Exercises that improve agility and balance would be a more sophisticated change.
Maintaining good health, diet, hydration, and exercise, as well as taking steps to avoid cardiovascular disease, are all important when it comes to syncopal falls. Prevent bone loss by exercising and improving your bone health with calcium supplements or appropriate medications. Keep in mind that there is a distinction between your actual age and your physical age. We can't change our genetics, but we can influence when we become physically "elderly."
Chair Exercise for Seniors