Why Do Older Adults Have a Higher Risk of Falling?

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The CDC reports that one in four seniors fall every year, and nearly 20 percent of those accidents result in serious injuries. To prevent slip-and-fall accidents, seniors and their caregivers must come up with comprehensive fall-prevention plans. Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the most common reasons seniors fall and a few steps that can be taken to minimize those risks.

Poor Eyesight

Practically every senior is going to experience vision impairment at some point over the years, and those eyesight issues could make it difficult to see potential tripping hazards. At least once every year, older adults should visit an eye doctor to make sure their eyes are healthy and they have the correct eyeglasses. Wearing eyeglasses with the right lenses can reduce the risk of tripping over an item on the ground.

Limited Flexibility

When younger, the body produces a wide variety of proteins that keep ligaments flexible. However, there may come a point where the body can no longer produce an ample supply of those proteins, resulting in limited flexibility. The most effective way for seniors to increase their flexibility is to do a full body stretch for 10 or 15 minutes every day.

Reduced Strength

Muscle loss is another byproduct of the aging process, and it’s very difficult for older adults to catch themselves while falling if they don’t have much strength in their hands and arms. To strengthen all of their major muscle groups, seniors should try to exercise for at least 150 minutes a week. Exercising also increases bone density, which reduces the risk of bone fractures.

For seniors with serious health conditions or mobility limitations, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful asset. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elderly home care. Flower Mound families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Issues with Medication

Some seniors take multiple medications every day, and those prescriptions often have major side effects. As a caregiver, you must take a close look at the potential side effects of any new prescriptions your loved one is given. If any of the medications impact balance, you might want to have your loved one take those pills just before bedtime.

If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her reactions to medications closely, but a trained professional caregiver can do this and much more. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Flower Mound seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Misusing or Not Using Mobility Equipment

There are many different reasons seniors often shy away from wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and other mobility devices. Some are embarrassed to use those devices, while others think they’re more of a hindrance than a help. It’s important for seniors to remember that mobility equipment saves lives, and they must use those devices if a doctor has told them to do so.

Decreased Endurance

Limited endurance can make it difficult to stand for more than a few minutes, and muscle fatigue can result in slip-and-fall accidents. Seniors who have low endurance levels should try to incorporate aerobic exercises into their workouts. Some of the most popular aerobic exercises include going on long walks, hiking, riding a bicycle, and swimming laps.

By being aware of the common risk factors listed above, you can take steps to lessen your loved one’s risk of injury from falling. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care services. Flower Mound families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one, call one of the friendly Care Managers at Home Care Assistance today at (972) 468-6010.