Three types of problems caused by falls in older adultsPosted on: 3/03/2023
Falls in older adults can lead to many problems, which often increase the risk of them falling again.
We’ve explored some of the most common problems below to highlight why it’s so important to help prevent falls from occurring.
- Physical problems
The act of falling often has physical effects on older adults, due to their increased fragility.
Common physical problems caused by falls, include:
- Fractures or broken bones. The most common places to experience fractures or bones, resulting from a fall, are wrists, arms, ankles and hips. There’s also the risk of head injuries or skull fractures.
- Chronic pain. Often, falls can be caused by chronic pain such as in the back, legs or muscles. However, they can also lead to chronic pain due to injuries sustained from a fall.
- Decreased mobility. Falls can impact an individual’s ability to move around, often caused by broken bones or chronic pain, which can then increase the risk of falling again and muscle strength and balance decreases from not moving about as much. For help with keeping mobile, you might like to have a read of our article that covers 11 exercises to reduce the risk of falls.
- Mental & emotional problems
Falls can also lead to certain mental and emotional problems, either that arise as a result of the fall itself or the injuries sustained.
- Fear of falling. Developing a fear of falling is very common after a fall. It’s really important to try and address the fear to reduce the feelings of anxiety. To help do this, you might like to read our article that explores what a fear of falling is and how to overcome it.
- Feelings of frustration. A fear of falling or even managing injuries that have happened as a result of a fall can lead to feelings of frustration, as the individual may feel like they’re unable to do the things they used to be able to do.
- Lower confidence and feelings of embarrassment. Older adults can begin to lose confidence after a fall and even experience feelings of embarrassment, depending on what caused the fall in the first place. For example, if they were rushing to the toilet when they fell, this may have led to an accident and results in them no longer wanting to be far from a toilet in case it happens again.
- Depression and anxiety. All of the above can have a huge impact on the individual’s mental health, leading to feelings of depression and anxiety. This is often also as a result of the social impact of falls, too.
- Social problems
Often, developing a fear of falling can lead to isolation and reduced contact with loved ones.
Older adults who are unsteady on their feet may become housebound, which reduces their contact with the outside world, or they may no longer have the confidence to go out and about like they did before they fell.
As we mentioned above, this can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety and overall lower quality of life.
We know it’s not always possible to completely prevent a fall from happening, as there are so many risk factors involved, but it is possible to ensure you or your loved one will always be able to get the help needed, whenever it’s needed.
Our wearable fall detector alarms will send an automatic alert if a fall is detected so that you or your loved one can get immediate assistance.
To find out more about our Falls Detectors and how they can help your loved one, simply click here.