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

Personal care

Housekeeping

Socializing

 

What Will Happen if You Fall?

A Cut or Bruise.

A Fracture.

“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”.