When you’re a senior, falling down isn’t just about a bruise or a scrape. Increasing frailty with age means a fall can cause serious injury. This can limit mobility and instill fear among seniors.
A WHO report finds that about 28%-35% of those aged 65 and over fall every year. So, while the fear is not unfounded, living with the anxiety can have a considerable impact on one’s lifestyle. Extreme fear can hurt the physical and mental wellbeing of an older individual.
Fear of falling usually restricts a senior’s movement and social interactions, which can lead to isolation, exacerbating mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. It can also lead to reduced physical activity, which can, in turn, increase the risk of falling even further.
How to Curtail the Fear of Falling Among Seniors
Fear of falling is a mental block that seniors develop over time, either with experience of falling themselves or witnessing friends and family fall. We at Alserv, a facility for elder care services in Coimbatore, Chennai, Kochi, etc. bring you four ways in which you can help seniors overcome their fear of falling:
1. Create a Safe Environment
Research shows that over 85% of falls occur at home. To eliminate the risk of falling, seniors need a safe home environment, especially if they are living alone. A home that isn’t cluttered, has all electrical wirings tucked away and has minimal carpets and rugs can reduce fall risks. Adequate lighting can also help. Another suggestion to give seniors more confidence is to install handrails and grab bars in spaces like staircases and toilets.
2. Encourage Physical Activity
Regular exercise can improve muscle and bone strength, thereby reducing the possibility of a fall or at least keep injuries to a minimum. Encouraging your senior members to engage in weight training exercises can improve their stamina and help them avoid falls and injuries.
3. Get Regular Check-Ups
Getting regular physical examinations can determine a senior’s health condition. If their mobility is compromised due to certain health conditions such as arthritis or vision problems, doctors can prescribe the required solutions that can help mitigate the issue.
4. See a Professional
If the fear of falling is causing persistent anxiety for your senior, then consider getting professional help. A counsellor can help break down this fear and assist seniors in having control of their day-to-day activities. Other professionals like physiotherapists can also solve gait and balance issues.
How Can Alserv Help
Alserv is an elder care service in Chennai, Coimbatore, Kochi, etc. that can help by providing a range of services like connecting with doctors, physiotherapists and even personal care. Our Personal Relationship Managers assist with providing continuous support and care.
For instance, one of our senior clients had a fall that led to minor swelling and pain. However, she didn’t let her family know so as to not worry them. When she let this slip during a conversation with an Alserv PRM, he immediately connected with her son and arranged for a doctor’s visit at home.
Falling or the fear of falling is common among seniors, but it doesn’t have to impact their lives. Remedial measures such as those mentioned above can ensure that seniors lead a healthy and carefree life.