Falls are a leading cause of injury among the elderly. While most people may easily pick themselves up after a fall and continue with their daily lives, a fall can be debilitating or even fatal for the elderly.
In Singapore, falls account for 40% of injury-related deaths. A study also found that falls account for 85% of all cases of elderly patients with trauma seen at the emergency department. Of all injuries, hip fractures are the most common one sustained by the elderly during falls. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 40% of elderly patients will need to be admitted to a nursing home due to an inability to perform simple daily activities after sustaining a hip fracture from a fall and 20% die within one year after their fall. Only 25% of elderly patients who suffer a hip fracture from a fall actually make a complete recovery.
Falling can also have a serious psychological effect on seniors. According to TOUCH Caregivers Support, many seniors suffer from a fear of falling after a fall episode. This fear causes seniors to lose confidence in themselves and become over-reliant on others to help them get around. The fear of falling may also lead them to withdraw from social activities such as leaving the house to interact with their friends or family – hence, causing them to live in isolation and become lonely.
The consequences of a fall may be dire for seniors. But the good news is that falls can be prevented! TOUCH Caregivers Support shares some fall prevention tips for seniors.
If you have any enquiries on caregiving for a loved one or want to find out how to make your home safer through home modification, please call TOUCH Care Line at 6804 6555 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Our team of occupational therapists will help to address your needs.
TOUCH Caregivers Support (TCG) was set up to help caregivers of older people cope with the challenges of caregiving. TCG also works closely with TOUCH Home Care’s (THC) trans-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and care coordinators to offer a suite of home-based care and support services. TCG also provides a one-stop service for home modifications to create a safer home environment for the elderly and their caregivers.
 Matchar DB, Duncan PW, Lien CT, et al. Randomized controlled trial of screening, risk modification, and physical therapy to prevent falls among the elderly recently discharged from the emergency department to the community:the steps to avoid falls in the elderly study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017;98:1086-96.