After age 65, adults in Ohio may want to start focusing on the factors that affect their fall risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk is high: A senior in the U.S. falls every second. This age group suffers more injuries and deaths from falls than any other cause.
Fortunately, many falls are preventable. According to the National Council for Aging Care, here are ways that seniors, their caregivers and their health care providers can reduce the chances of a fall.
Objects on the floor, uneven or slick surfaces, poor lighting and lack of adequate handrails are all hazards that often lead to a fall. Whether a senior lives at home, with a caregiver or in an assisted living or nursing home, it is essential to examine the environment for fall risks and eliminate them.
Muscle weakness, arthritis, vision problems, ear disorders, high blood pressure and other health conditions may cause a person to become weak, off-balance or dizzy, creating a fall risk. The slowing down of reflexes and reactions that occurs naturally with age can also cause seniors to lose their balance easily.
Every medication has the potential to cause side effects, and one of the more common side effects is dizziness or light-headedness. Seniors should talk to their doctors about the potential for these issues and others that may increase the likelihood of falling.
Once a senior has fallen, the probability of a second fall increases. For many, this is due to a significant decrease in physical activity. Often, people believe that by being less physically active, they can avoid a fall, but the lack of exercise weakens the muscles and reduces overall health so that falling is more likely.