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- 6. October 2023
- Reading time: 15 min.
Table of Contents
Why Is Fall Prevention at Home in the Elderly So Important?
Dizziness, balance issues, and diminished muscle strength are all common causes1 of falls in the elderly, making it essential to focus on fall prevention. Using an assistive device like a cane or walker also increases a senior’s likelihood for experiencing a fall. As a viable in-home fall prevention solution, the VELA Chair is uniquely designed to help prevent falls in the elderly.
The Risk of Elderly Falls Increases with Age
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury in adults aged 65+.The CDC further points out that roughly 14 million older Americans, or one-in-four, report falling each year.2 Millions of other seniors fail to inform their doctors or loved ones that they’ve fallen for fear of losing their independence.3
While the risk of falling increases with age, fall-related consequences can also be much more debilitating the older one gets.
Sadly, falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide, eclipsed only by traffic accidents. An estimated 684,000 people globally die from fall-related injuries each year, most of which occur in individuals aged 60 and above4.
Consequences of falls in the elderly
When an elderly person falls, they are more susceptible to broken bones, notably a hip or thigh fracture. Fracturing a hip or thigh can profoundly impact a senior’s quality of life by requiring them to:
- Endure a lengthy hospital stay
- Complete a prolonged rehabilitation process
- Undergo multiple surgical procedures, including reoperations
- Use aids during their hospitalization and at home
- Rely on in-home caregivers to assist them with activities of daily living (ADLs)4
Furthermore, fall-related consequences can cause an older adult to have limited mobility or increase their likelihood for falling again. A fear of falling can keep seniors from participating in activities they once enjoyed as they seek ways to prevent another fall.
These unfortunate circumstances negatively impact the quality of life for the elderly. Among other things, effective fall prevention aims to counteract those negative factors.
Kaj Henning Was Always Afraid of Falling
Kaj Henning, an elderly gentleman, has reduced muscle strength in his legs due to aging. This condition has made him feel insecure about losing his balance and falling; fears that are justified given his circumstances.
Because he has fallen in his home before, Kaj Henning is concerned that another fall might cause a bone fracture. Those past unfortunate experiences have taught him that he cannot get up without assistance if he falls again.
Kaj Henning’s insecurity and fear has kept him from performing many everyday tasks at home, relying instead on his wife Lene to handle most household chores. However, the added workload Lene must endure does not compare to the worry she carries inside for her husband. Whenever she hears an unusual sound, Lene often wonders:
What’s happening now? Has Kaj Henning fallen?
Thankfully, the situation at their home changed once Kaj started using a VELA Chair. For starters, the chair enables him to be more active in his daily life. Kaj can now help more around the house, as the chair reassures both he and Lene by minimizing Kaj’s risk of falling. He feels safe and secure when he sets the table, loads the dishwasher, or picks things up off the floor.
As a result, Kaj has become much less dependent on Lene’s help. The burden of worry that Lene previously carried inside for her husband has now been lifted.
Here’s how Lene expressed her newfound relief:
Now there’s less for me to be anxious about.
Kaj notably appreciates the electric height adjustment on his chair because, in his words, “There’s a difference between sitting and walking.” Depending on his chosen activity, Kaj makes minor adjustments to his sitting height throughout the day to ensure optimal comfort.
Lene has noticed a significant change in Kaj Henning’s activity level and sense of independence. She remarks that he has become much more active and hopes this beneficial effect extends to his edematous legs.
The VELA Chair has helped Kaj Henning be more active and independent at home, ultimately improving the quality of life for both he and Lene.
Whether it’s called quality of life, I don’t know, but it feels like it… Actually.
What is Fear of Falling?
A fear of falling is a psychological consequence of fall accidents, a phenomenon which can also occur in older adults without a history of falls4.
A fear of falling may have significant implications for an individual’s physical and cognitive functions.
A fear of falling can result in lost independence and an increased dependence on caregivers.
A fear of falling can significantly influence an older adult’s physical and social activities, impacting their overall health and well-being.
Taking Excessive Fall Precautions Can Lower One’s Quality of Life
After experiencing his first fall, Kaj Henning started feeling insecure about participating in activities that he believed could increase his risk for falling. Although he was able to perform them before his fall, he stopped doing some tasks at home afterwards.
For the average senior, restricting activity could cause deterioration to both physical and cognitive functions, potentially resulting in lost independence and an increased dependency on care. Studies have shown a direct correlation between functional deterioration and a lower quality of life4. According to a 2019 review by Schoene et al., a fear of falling has significant implications for the quality of life among older adults, and, interestingly, it may have a greater impact than the falls themselves8.
The review further pointed out that the fear of falling among older adults seemed to be limited to those who had already experienced falls, a phenomenon commonly referred to as “post-fall syndrome”.
Conversely, other researchers have determined that a fear of falling is not exclusive to older individuals who have already fallen, but rather also commonly occurs in seniors with no prior history of falls4.
How Does a Fear of Falling Impact Socialization?
Fear can profoundly impact the social lives of the elderly and their loved ones, as was the case with Kaj Henning and Lene. That factor makes it essential to not only focus on one’s physical capabilities, but also to incorporate the psychological aspect into the rehabilitation process and preventative mindset.
The couple’s story is not unique, as experience would indicate that many elderly individuals are forced to cope with similar circumstances. For these reasons, fall prevention at home in the elderly should be approached from a physical, contextual, and psychological standpoint.
How a VELA Chair Supports Elderly Fall Prevention by Eliminating Fall Apprehension
Effective fall prevention is essential in the aging population due to the significant physical and psychological consequences. By addressing both issues, an office chair with a brake and electric lift from VELA can be an invaluable fall prevention aid. Because it provides a physical and mental sense of stability and security, a VELA Chair can effectively reduce a senior’s fear of falling.
Research has demonstrated the positive impact of environmental modifications, or “environmental adaptations,” on fall prevention. These adaptations include updating the home environment to create optimal conditions for engaging in daily activities5. According to this research, the use of assistive devices is an effective way for seniors like Kaj Henning to improve their ability to safely perform various activities around the home.
One impactful way to adapt your home environment is by incorporating a VELA Chair into your daily routine. A fall prevention chair from VELA enables safe and secure movement between rooms while remaining seated. Moreover, our chair is compact enough to be used in all living spaces, including tighter ones.
Seamlessly Adjust the Chair’s Height All by Yourself
A stable chair with a brake and an electric lift is essential for preventing elderly falls. Equipped with a state-of-the-art electric lift, a VELA Chair is a reliable aid that helps users comfortably stand up.
To use our chair safely, follow these steps:
Lock the wheels with the sturdy handbrake
Press the button to raise the seat, as this will elevate the chair and help you stand up
Gently place your feet on the floor and regain your balance while being firmly supported by the chair
In addition to its innovative sit-to-stand feature, a VELA Chair offers many other benefits. Our chair allows you to perform various daily tasks around the home while remaining seated. For example, you can lower your chair to reach lower cabinet shelves or raise the chair to access clothes in a closet or tall dresser. To ensure your safety and security, always confirm the chair is properly locked before starting an activity.
One notable feature of a VELA Chair is its high-quality electric lift, which facilitates a smooth and gradual change in seat height. This feature helps prevent dizziness or loss of balance that can occur with sudden movements. The electric lift supports a safer user experience by instilling a heightened sense of security.
Which fall prevention chair from VELA is right for you? Answer these 8 simple questions now to find out.
Enjoy Fall Prevention at Home with Streamlined Mobility
Our mobility chairs for the elderly are designed with four smooth-running wheels, allowing you to lower the chair’s height and use your legs to “walk” or push yourself around while seated.
With fall prevention at home in the elderly chair from VELA, you can comfortably engage in most daily activities while seated, greatly minimizing the fear of falling. The smooth-running wheels ensure enhanced mobility, enabling you to take care of yourself while moving around with ease.
Want to transition from the chair to your favorite couch? Simply walk the chair to the couch, apply the handbrake, fold one armrest down, and slide onto the couch – all while enjoying peace of mind knowing you can rely on the sturdy armrest to support your body during the transfer!
Our fall prevention in the elderly chair supports user independence by optimizing safety and security, empowering you to manage various tasks without relying on assistance from others.
Effective Fall Prevention in Older Adults Helps Improve Quality of Life
There are many benefits to preventing falls among the elderly. As one of the best fall precautions for older adults, a VELA Chair can help reduce the likelihood for accidents, hospitalizations, and other fall-related consequences. Using a VELA Chair is a reliable way to prevent elderly falls before they happen. For example, you can use the chair when feeling tired to prevent yourself from losing your balance and falling.
In general, finding ways to prevent elderly falls is essential for the average senior’s health and well-being. A fall prevention chair for the elderly from VELA offers a newfound sense of security when your strength fails. By being comfortable and mobile, our chair also provides a stable foundation from which you can perform daily activities – ultimately helping you maintain a higher quality of life even if you have a fear of falling.
The VELA Chair Has Transformed Kaj Henning’s Everyday Life
Thanks to his VELA Chair, Kaj Henning has regained the confidence to perform a wider range of tasks at home.
In addition to relieving his wife, Kaj Henning is able to get the beneficial exercise he needs. By assisting him in areas where he is weakest, the VELA Chair eliminates his fear of falling resulting from his physical limitations. For instance, the chair compensates for Kaj Henning’s reduced leg muscle strength and poor balance. As a result, he can now safely and efficiently work at the kitchen table and access upper cabinet shelves, as well as perform floor level tasks like loading and emptying the dishwasher.
His fear of falling, which he used to mentally associate with these strength- and balance-demanding activities, is a thing of the past thanks to the VELA Chair.
The VELA Chair actively contributes to enhancing Kaj Henning’s activity level by reducing his insecurity. This increased physical activity can help strengthen his leg muscles and alleviate swelling. For Kaj Henning, the VELA Chair has made it possible to perform activities that were once impossible while boosting his confidence and independence – factors that have had a significant impact on his quality of life.
Are you ready to take back control of your daily routine and reclaim your self-reliance with an all-in-one fall prevention chair from VELA? Learn more about the amazing VELA Independence Chair here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do older adults fall?
Dizziness, balance issues, and diminished muscle strength are some common causes of elderly falls. By reliably supporting a user’s movements, a VELA Chair helps prevent dizziness and poor balance. Additionally, a fall prevention chair from VELA bears most of the body weight, reducing the strain on tired or weakened muscles.
What exercises can help with fall prevention?
One highly beneficial fall prevention exercise for the elderly is to practice rising from a seated position while being supported by a VELA Chair. As one of the best fall precautions for older adults, our chair provides support and stability, allowing you to rise in a slow and controlled movement without putting excessive strain on your lower body. This fall prevention exercise can help minimize dizziness and maximize your ability to maintain proper balance.