The disability survey conducted in 2008 reveals that in Spain there are almost four and a half million people over 65 who suffer some type of disability, slightly more than half of these people have mobility problems, and around two million (25.51% of those over 65) need the help of other people to cope with their daily lives.

Chronic diseases, which increase their incidence with age, such as osteoarthritis, visual or hearing deficiencies, dementia or Parkinson's, and the deterioration of the aging process increase the risk of falls, and it is estimated that one in three The elderly fall at least once a year and, on numerous occasions, and unless the fall causes significant injuries, the affected person hides it to avoid admitting that he has lost faculties and autonomy.

One in ten falls in people over 65 causes serious injuries, such as the dreaded hip fracture

The geriatricians warn that it is essential to raise awareness of how dangerous falls can be (one in ten causes serious injuries such as the feared hip fracture, and only in 2009 1,438 people over 65 died as a result of a fall ), and the need to prevent and treat them to prevent them from becoming the beginning of the disability.

How to avoid falls in the elderly

The Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology has issued a series of recommendations, to be followed both in the home of the elderly person and in their movements, which aim to prevent falls and their consequences:

  • When furnishing and decorating the house, keep in mind that furniture and other objects should not get in the way and should allow it to circulate comfortably.
  • Neither boxes, suitcases, cables ... should be left on the floor ... which could be tripped over. And it is better that there are no rugs.
  • To go up and down stairs you must always take at least one of your hands free to get with her to the railing.
  • The rooms of the house have to be well lit, and there must be a switch by hand next to the bed, to be able to turn on the light if you need to get up to go to the bathroom during the night.
  • If possible, replace the bathtub with a shower tray made of non-slip material (or use a mat), and place grab bars to help you enter and exit safely.
  • Do not get on a chair or stool to pick up objects stored up. Try to have everything you need in accessible places, or ask for help from others when you need something that you do not reach.
  • Carry the mobile phone also inside the house, or an alarm device, in case you fall and it is impossible to reach the landline.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that correctly hold the foot, low heel and with non-slip sole.
  • Practice soft physical exercise regularly, especially walking, because it strengthens the muscles, and promotes balance and agility.
  • If you are insecure or unstable, use a cane to support you, especially when you leave the house.
  • Pay close attention when you walk down the street, even in areas that are frequent, because there may be damage to the pavement that is a real danger, as well as other very slippery elements, such as wet leaves that cover the sidewalks in autumn.

Source: Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology

FEAR AND CREATIVITY (November 2019).