Today we are talking about the fear of falling in the elderly. This is a big issue because seniors won’t talk about it, but it is there, front of mind after a bad experience with a fall.
Overview of Fear of Falling
Here is an overview of the podcast
Fall Prevention-Environment,Medical conditions, Medications etc.
How to Handle a Fall-How to safely help them up off the floor, possible injuries, etc
What about The Fear of Falling?
Fear affects you Emotionally, Mentally, and Physically:
Afraid to go out
Stay home and become bored, frustrated, depressed
Lack of exercise weakens muscles, bones, poor circulation, etc
Fear can become part of every Activity of Daily Living
What Will Happen if You Fall?
A Cut or Bruise.
“The Big One”-That sends you to the nursing home, never to return home.
The Fear Makes the Fall More Likely
Medication for anxiety can increase the possibility of falls.
Drinking due to depression can increase the possibility of falls.
Drinking and medications combined can definitely increase the possibility of falls!
Social Circle can Reinforce the Fear- You hear things that make you THINK
Senior Center– Many people with arms in casts, fractured wrists, bandages, discussions about how the injury occurred.
MD Office, Clinics- Walkers, Wheelchairs, People in Pain
How Can You Help?
Encourage conditioning AS PART OF the “Home Modification” process
Things that help maintain strength to grab safety bars, standing/sitting exercises to encourage balance and coordination. Movement to help with endurance.
Have Positive Discussions about the Trade-off between the risk of immobility and the risk of mobility. Help the person find the right balance for them. What are the things the person enjoys doing and what is the safest way to them. What tasks are not worth the risk AND what can the person to instead.
Be Supportive- Help the person adapt to needed changes. Assist with problem solving for positive outcomes. When falls do occur, help them to recover and “Get Back on the Horse” or help the to find “A Smaller Pony”.