Falls in the Elderly

falls; It is a serious problem for elderly people with specialties. In these patients, whose movement is limited due to walking difficulties and joint complaints secondary to chronic diseases, the addition of falls may make the patient completely bedridden. In these patients, vision problems, hearing problems, balance problems and physical problems that occur with age make falling more common.

Considering the neurological causes of falls in general; Syncope (loss of consciousness), cerebrovascular event (occlusion or bleeding in the brain vessels) or epileptic seizure come to the fore.

Neurological causes:Inflammation of nerve endings such as cerebrovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, dementia (Alzheimer’s type and other dementias), epilepsy, vertigo, polyneuropathy

Cardiac causes:Heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia, hypotension

Gastro-intestinal causes:stomach bleeding, diarrhea

Internal causes:Hypothyroidism, anemia, hypoglycemia, dehydration

Physical causes:Arthritis, muscle weakness

Psychiatric causes:Depression, anxiety disorders

Other reasons:Some central nervous system drugs

One out of every 7 elderly people has significant gait impairment and one out of every 4 elderly people need an assistive device such as a cane or walker. In addition, environmental factors such as slippery floors and inappropriate lighting are responsible for half of the falls.

Falls inside the home are more common in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, while falls outside the home are more common on steps and sidewalks.

Falls in the elderly often have more than one cause, and most result in injury.

Injuries, painful soft tissue injuries, hip, femur (leg), humerus (arm), wrist and rib fractures, brain hemorrhages are the most common injuries. Some injuries require hospitalization. Complications related to being in bed for a long time are undesirable, as they may lead to being bedridden in the future.

The important thing is to prevent falling or to prevent the development of fear of falling in the patient. The underlying causes of the fall should be corrected. It is necessary to give importance to a healthy life, physical exercise and a balanced diet. Obstacles and elevations that may cause the patient to fall in the house should be removed. Before the fear of falling develops, assisted walking should be provided at first, and then the patient should do walking exercises on his own.

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