Common Causes of Falls
Falls are the leading cause of injury, hospitalization, and death in the elderly. According to the CDC, one out of every four older Americans suffers a fall every year. And with seniors being more likely to fall, they are unfortunately more susceptible to sustaining lasting injuries from said falls. Almost a quarter of yearly falls result in an injury, such as a broken hip or a head trauma, meaning that nearly one in sixteen adults over the age of 65 will be injured in a fall each year. Understanding the reasons for a fall can help loved ones and caregivers prepare for and prevent them.
- Physical decline: Many adults become less active due to the physical changes of aging, a vicious cycle where the lack of activity accelerates the physical decline. Engaging in even mild exercise on a regular basis can help keep bones strong, joints supple, and muscles supportive, allowing seniors to prevent themselves from falling.
- Environmental hazards: Adults who choose to age in place may find that the home they crafted while younger isn’t conducive to the needs of the elderly. Poor lighting, areas of disrepair, loose rugs, obstructive furniture, and lack of safety equipment like grab bars can all contribute to senior falls. An in-home assessment by a professional can help make the house more senior friendly, preventing falls.
- Vision impairment: Age related eye diseases can make detecting hazards in one's walkway more difficult. Uneven ground, sudden steps, or pits and puddles can all go unnoticed by an older adult who has difficulty seeing accurately. Make sure to follow physicians’ recommendations, including using prescribed glasses or other vision equipment.