Older adults are prone to injuries. It comes with age. The one thing that causes most of their injuries is falls. With age, our body weakens, our muscles give us less support than before, and our bones are more fragile than they used to be. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injuries which don’t have fatal consequences in older adults. The falls that are most frequent in the elderly are those that are caused by falling from bed. Some of the injuries that occur this way can severely damage the quality of life in older adults. But luckily for all the seniors in the world, we are here to help them prevent bed falls.
Why Do Seniors Fall Out of Bed?
Many people associate falling off the bed with children, but this accident is also typical among the elderly. In older adults, the falls are mostly caused by their medical conditions. The group of seniors who are most prone to suffering bed-fall injuries is those with dementia or already existing injuries. But the reason behind this is less noticeable—it’s lack of sleep. Seniors who lack quality sleep are more susceptible to bed-fall injuries than those who get enough sleep. Below we have some of the most frequent reasons behind falling out of bed.
- Physical Struggles – Seniors who have recently undergone surgery or had a stroke are at a higher risk of falling from the bed than they were before. The bed falls don’t happen during the night while the elderly sleep but mostly when they are trying to get into and out of bed. If they have sleeping issues or need to urinate during the night, they will also put themselves at risk of falling from the bed. All seniors are at risk of falling out of their bed if they are overtiring themselves or have issues with their eyesight.
- Restless Sleep – While we sleep, we dream. In between dream cycles, the elderly are prone to falls. Many have reported that they directly jumped off their bed while sleeping and having a vivid dream.
- Medications – As you probably know, medications can affect the chemistry in our brain and thus the quality of our sleep. In this state, when our mind is not at 100%, we can have abnormal dreams. When this happens, the risk of falling from the bed increases.
- Space Issues – If you have a new bed or new room layout which leads to unfamiliarity, you can also increase your bed-fall risk. The case is the same if you have new bedclothes that are silky and can cause you to slide off the bed.
Preventing Falls by Addressing Health Concerns
If your loved one already fell off the bed or was close to seriously injuring themselves, you need to contact a doctor, both to take care of them and to address the causes behind the fall. If the reason behind the fall is connected to eyesight, then treating cataracts might be the solution. If the reason behind the fall is medications, then the doctor needs to see which meds your loved one is taking and consider changing the prescriptions or dosage.
In some cases, simple treatments, such as physical therapy, can be a solution. For some seniors, all they need is to regain some of their strength and create muscle memory in order to prevent any future accidents.
Preventing Falls by Addressing Physical Space Concerns
If the reason behind a fall is the environment, there are also solutions to this. The most obvious one is to keep their surroundings as consistent as you can. Another thing is to make sure that your loved one lives in a bright area, which has good lights during the night so that the vision is never strained.
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