Don’t Fall for That! Taking Precautions Against Dangerous Falls
The idea of falling is an unpleasant one for anyone of any age, but as people get older, the risk of falling and the danger it can pose increase exponentially. Unfortunately, falls are something that happen frequently to seniors and have become the leading cause of death, serious injury and hospitalization for people over the age of 65. We have some advice for preventing falls in seniors.
The reasons elderly people are more susceptible to falling than younger people include:
- Impairment from the use of medications. Many medications such as sedatives, cardiovascular drugs, anti-psychotics, antidepressants and opioids may cause side effects such as dizziness, low blood pressure and drowsiness. Such side effects raise the risk of falling. For individuals taking multiple medications, the side effects can be heightened.
- Chronic diseases that cause lack of balance, weaken the extremities, cause poor grip and reduces cognitive function.
- Poor fitness and lack of adequate physical activity to maintain muscle strength, bone mass, flexibility, balance, and coordination. As physical health naturally declines with age, these additional factors can significantly heighten the risk of falling.
- Poor vision and age-related eye diseases, conditions which often complicate tasks and cause difficulty in being able to recognize hazards that may cause them to trip or slip and fall.
- Surgeries such as hip and joint replacements that can cause weakness and pain and significantly affect mobility.
- Lifestyle factors and activities that affect physical condition or put them at risk simply due to the conditions around them. For individuals who do not take their age and physical decline into account, even simple activities can put them at greater risk for falling.
- Environmental safety concerns such as lack of lighting, poorly maintained homes and clutter can all cause dangerous falls, even at home.
Falling is not usually related to a single factor, but a combination that increases the degree of injury and the complications from the fall. Sometimes falling can lead to permanent injury or even to death. For falls that do not cause injury, the scare itself can cause people to avoid any behaviors or activities that they consider risky, which can cause further mental decline and physical deterioration.
Fortunately, taking certain precautionary safety measures, maintaining a healthy environment and staying active can all reduce the risk of dangerous falls as you advance in years.
Advancing in age doesn’t have to make your health fall! Consult with our caring team of experts at Watermark of Gulf Breeze Assisted Living & Memory Care to learn more about how our senior care services can benefit you!