Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits among senior citizens, but they may be avoided with steps that can minimize the risk. A fall that may be a minor injury among younger individuals could lead to significant injuries in seniors. Below you’ll find information about the reasons why falls are such prevalent and severe injuries for elderly individuals so that you may reduce the risk.
Muscle and joint degeneration
Over time, muscles become weaker and joints can get stiff and inflamed. These changes can lead to changes in gait and balance that make falls more likely. The bones may also become less dense through the aging process, which might make fractures a much bigger possibility when a fall occurs.
Hazards in the home
Older adults may have more difficulty in keeping the house clean and organized, which means that there may be more physical hazards that can lead to falls. Areas of the home like the bathroom and kitchen where floors may be slippery can also pose problems. These fall risks can be reduced by having help around the house for cleaning and home maintenance. Installing hand rails and motion sensor lights may be helpful too, since these simple upgrades make it much easier to get around the house at any time.
Many seniors rely on a number of medications to manage their health, but these medications can have side effects that reduce reaction times, cause grogginess, or lead to dizziness and confusion. Those who are on four or more medications are at the highest risk, so you might talk to your doctor about reducing the number of medications you need if you have multiple prescriptions.
If you have suffered a fall or you feel that your balance has been suffering through the aging process, connect with Palms of Pasadena Hospital to explore the types of care that may help you. You can reach us online or call us at (855) 245-8328.