Falls can be classified into two different categories Organic and Mechanical. Mechanical falls are caused by an individual & their environment. Like slipping on a wet floor, or tripping over kids toys. Organic falls, on the other hand, are caused by a body system failure. While it is fairly simple to remove trip hazard, preventing an organic fall is a bit more complicated.
Orthostatic Hypotension (Light-Headedness after standing) can be experienced by those who have been seated/standing for an extended period of time- or due to vascular damage; Both resulting in a fall. Gravity causes a pooling of blood in our lower extremities. Our bodies will use a “Calf Muscle Pump” to move blood back up the body. Any activity that limits calf movement causes blood to remain in the lower half. Arising too quickly can result in a fall due to the lack of blood available to the brain.
A 2018 study shows Compression can help. Wearing medical compression has previously been shown to assist the veins with moving blood up the leg decreasing Orthostatic Hypotension falls. Not as simple as cleaning up a spill to prevent a fall, but Medical Compression is readily available.
Tips to remember:
Reducing Mechanical Falls
- Remove trip hazards in home. Always use handrails.
- Remove trip hazards in home.
- Avoid shiny floors which are often slippery.
- Wear shoes that fit well.
- Put nightlights in rooms or hall.
Reducing Organic Falls
- Move feet up & down Move feet up & down x3 and slowly rise from a seat
- Wear Medical Grade Compression