Contributing Factors and Safety Related Lifestyle Changes among Older Persons with History of Falls
Background and objectives: Falls are one of the major problems in older persons and 5th leading cause of injury related visits to emergency department and primary etiology of accidents and deaths above 60 years of age. As the population ages, the problems related to falls and fractures are expected to grow and pose even a greater challenge to health care system. A descriptive study on contributing factors and safety related lifestyle changes among older persons with history of falls was carried out in Ludhiana district of Punjab.
Material and Method: A sample of 60 subjects above 60 years of age was conveniently recruited, out of which 43 (71.67%) subjects were from urban area, 03(05.00%) from semi urban area and 14(23.33%) were from rural areas. Subjects were interviewed using a questionnaire on socio-demographic profile, risk factors for falls and a home assessment checklist.
Results: More than half of the subjects 61.67% were females while only 38.33% were males. Study findings infer that maximum of the subjects had a history of fall twice in a year and about half of the falls were reported to occur in morning hours. Findings revealed that 92% subjects had decline in visual acuity which outweighed all the other risk factors. About 80% of the subjects were suffering from osteoporosis and vertigo, 75% from arthritis, 52% from hypertension, 45% from postural instability and 42% were suffering from diminished night vision. Maximum falls happened in bathroom (31.43%), followed by bedroom (22.86%), stairs (14.28%) and kitchen (7.14%). Major proportion (91.6%) of the bathrooms in homes had easily closable bathroom doors, high toilet seats (68.3%) and adequate size doorways (50%) while grab bars and non skid rubber mats were present in only 11.6% of the homes. The number of falls in bathroom was maximum due to the absence of grab bars and slippery floors. Most of the bedroom facilities in the homes (adequate light, easy access to switches, good condition and proper height of beds) were present except non skid rubber bedroom carpeting which was present only in 20% of the homes. Preventive measures taken by subjects for falls revealed that majority 65% of the subjects had taken no preventive measures. Only 1.67% had made changes in the bathroom.
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