Many cases of nursing home neglect injuries in Encinitas and other parts of San Diego County result from falls. In certain situations, seniors are not monitored properly, and they suffer serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries after falling. In other scenarios, nursing home staff members may fail to provide the proper health aids, such as walkers, which can prevent a fall-related injury. According to a news release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 29 million elderly Americans suffer falls each year, resulting in more than $31 billion in Medicare costs. Given the prevalence of falls among seniors, are there ways to improve preventive measures?
According to a recent article in The New York Times, Southern Californians may be able to take some senior safety tips from the Dutch, who “are living longer than in previous generations” with the help of “courses that teach them not only how to avoid falling, but how to fall correctly.”
Fear of Falling can Lead to Injuries Among Older Adults
Many seniors are afraid of falling, according to a report from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Since falls often result in broken bones and the start of disabilities, as well as significant health problems that require frequent hospital visits, elderly Americans are afraid that they will suffer a fall-related injury. As a result, older adults can end up engaging in physical activity less often, like walking or engaging in other activities that help to keep them healthy. Not only can this kind of thinking lead to loneliness and emotional or psychological issues, but it can also make a senior more likely to fall, according to The New York Times article.
Why can a fear of falling make a senior more likely to fall? In brief, fear of falling leads to decreased physical activity, as we mentioned above, which in turn can make a person less agile and less likely to properly protect him or herself in the event of a slip or trip. What is one solution? Clinically tested courses on falling that teach the proper way to fall—to avoid injuries—may help seniors immensely.
Clinically Tested Falling Courses Help Seniors to Avoid Injuries
In the Netherlands, physiotherapists and occupational therapists are teaching clinically-tested falling courses for older adults, many in their 70s and 80s. The courses often begin by building confidence in seniors by encouraging them to walk through an obstacle course. Then, the seniors enrolled in the courses begin to work on falling techniques. As one of the instructors explained, “naturally, they are not interested in courses on falling at first, but once they see that they can do it, then it’s fun.”
The courses use safety mats, and seniors literally practice falling onto them once per week. Participants are guided by instructors, who help to ensure that the falls occur safely and that all necessary safety equipment is in place. By the end of the class, the elderly participants not only feel an increased sense of confidence concerning fear of falling, but they also have learned techniques in the event of a fall that can help to prevent broken bones and other disabling injuries.
Contact an Encinitas Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
The kinds of courses at work in the Netherlands could provide important safety tools for seniors in Southern California. In the meantime, if you have questions about filing a claim, a nursing home neglect lawyer in Encinitas can help with your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm today for more information.
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