Jan 13, 2014

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Falls among Elderly – Help from a Light

Falls among ElderlyAccording to the centers for disease and control prevention, each year one in three adults aged 65 or older falls.  Falls can cause a lot of injuries and increase the risk of early death, especially when dealing with falls among the elderly.  By altering the pupil size, the human eye is capable of adjusting to varying light intensities.  The sensitivity of the retina also contributes to how the eye adjusts in the light versus the dark.   As humans progressively age, noticeable changes occur as the eyes weaken.  There are several conditions that weaken the eye, as one becomes elderly and aging progresses.

Common Age-Related Eye Problems

Dry Eye – This occurs when the tear glands are incapable of making enough tears, or produce poor quality of tears.  Dry eye can cause one discomfort, itching, and burning or even loss of vision.
Cataracts – Cataracts are cloudy areas that cover part or the entire lens of the eye.  In a ‘normal’ eye, the lens is clear, similar to that of a new camera lens.  When cataracts form, they keep light from passing through the lens to the retina, causing loss of eyesight.
Floaters – These are tiny spots that float across the eye vision.  Most individuals will notice them while in lit rooms or on a sunny day.  Floaters are normal, but can sometimes block vision, causing falls.
Presbyopia – Presbyopia is the loss of ability to see close-up objects.  Typically, this results in individuals over the age of 40.

Falls Among Elderly

As falls often occur during the night hours, it is essential to “fall proof” your home to avoid any injuries.  According to the National Institute of Health, six out of every ten falls happen within the home.  Making simple changes to living areas, as well as incorporating a light will help to improve the safety of your own home.  Making sure there is a clear path to the bathroom or door is another key thing as a lot of falls happen when someone trips over an object while getting up to go to the bathroom. This is the key thing to remember when trying to decrease falls among elderly individuals.

Poor lighting, inside and outdoors, can increase your risk of falls.  The use of a flashlight can help greatly but is not always practical. The aPallo Cane features an LED light that can be utilized to make sure that you have enough lighting as you walk through the dark. It can replace standard walking canes and help eliminate falls among elderly individuals with the light.  Also, replace low-light light bulbs with the highest wattage recommended for the given fixture, this too will increase lighting in your home and help with decreasing falls.

After climbing into bed at night, place your aPallo Cane within easy reach of your bed.  With this particular cane being the first of its kind in the world, the aPallo Cane features an LED light on the top handle that can be utilized in decreasing falls among elderly. It also can help the user safely rise from the sitting position which is another major cause of falls among elderly individuals. If you use a cane or know someone who does the aPallo cane can decrease the risk of falling greatly. If you know have any other tips to prevent fall among the elderly please comment below to help others out.

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  • Michael H

    Amen! I’ve taken more than one nasty fall in the past 5 or 6 years and each of them could have seriously impacted my health and shortened my life. I’ve tried getting into routines like keeping a flashlight in every room (until I ended up with all my flashlights sitting on my coffee table) and keeping my light switches/lamps in easily accessible locations. But there will always be situations where you’ve gotta take some steps without the lights on. The most consistant thing I have with me though is my aPallo, built-in light and all. It’s the easiest way for me to keep a well lit routine!

  • Mara

    Even without a cane I sometimes feel that I need a light to avoid falls! I think it is great that the aPallo Cane features a light that helps the elderly to see and get around with much more ease. I’m sure that this technology and innovative cane has been a breath of fresh air for elderly individuals who require help getting around, especially at night and in the dark.

  • Herb

    Good advice. The last spill I took was after my foot caught on the edge of my oriental rug. The leg of an end table pushed the edge up and after I moved the table back it was just waiting to trip me up. It’s important to remember to get a lay of the land, even in your own home. Don’t make any assumptions, especially in the dark.