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The Four Reasons Why Seniors Fall

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, falls are the leading cause of accidental death in people over the age of 65. The CDC says you have a 1 in 3 chance of falling if you are over the age of 65. Older people who look completely healthy can fall too.

When you reach your senior years, a fall can be devastating. It takes longer to heal from broken bones and sprained ankles. Some people never fully recover.

Here are several reasons why seniors fall and how you can reduce your risk of falling:

Illness

There are many diseases which cause mobility problems. Senior citizens with arthritis or Parkinson’s Disease struggle with major mobility problems. Low blood pressure can make you feel dizzy if you suffer from postural hypotension. While some of these ailments are predictable, a stroke or heart attack can strike at any moment. It’s important to schedule yearly check-ups with your doctor so you are aware of any health issues which might limit your mobility. If you’re proactive in getting regular health screenings, you can reduce your risk of falling due to illnesses.

Medication

medicationPeople have also been known to fall more often when taking medication. The side effects of medication cause a wide variety of symptoms including dizziness, fatigue, confusion, and other health problems. To prevent falls resulting from medication, be sure to check with your doctor before taking any prescriptions so you can anticipate any mobility problems.

Not Enough Exercise

When you do not exercise regularly, there is less flexibility, decreased bone mass, poor muscle tone, and loss of balance. Many senior citizens will limit their activity just because they are afraid of falling. Some seniors won’t even leave the house. Unfortunately, this fear leads to a sedentary lifestyle. This is just as unhealthy for older adults as it is for young people.

The best solution for seniors is to maintain an active lifestyle, exercise 30 minutes per day, and eat a balanced diet so you will have the strength and energy to stay active well into your senior years. Wear proper footwear when you are exercising, as well as when you’re home. Flip flops, sandals, slippers, and high-heels are not appropriate footwear for seniors who have compromised mobility.

Environmental Factors

Most seniors don’t fall at the mall or the grocery store. They fall at home. Since the home is a familiar place, most people let their guard down, but there are many dangers that can cause accidents. Loose carpets not securely fastened cause many accidents. Trying to go up and down the stairs is dangerous for many seniors. Many people fall when sitting down at the kitchen table for dinner. Others fall on the slick floor in the bathtub.

To reduce the risk of falling at home, make home modifications like installing grab bars, stair lifts for the staircase, and securing loose carpet. Replace burned out light bulbs, and install additional lighting in dark areas around the home. Even when you are at home, use a cane or walker if the doctor recommends it.

The risk of falling increases with age, but there are many safety precautions you can take to reduce your risk of falling.

To help reduce the risks around the house, please reach out to us on our Contact Us page