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6 Ways Aging Increases the Risk for Falls

6 Ways Aging Increases the Risk for Falls

 Falls can pose a serious threat to your elderly loved one's safety. Did you know that 95% of broken hips among older adults are caused by falls each year? Falls can have both physical and psychological consequences, and the risks only increase as we grow older. Here are factors that can increase your senior's risk of falling:

  1. Limited Movement. As elders age, there is a common decline in overall movement. Their bodies may not be able to perform the activities they used to do when they were younger. Without regular physical activity, some seniors may lose strength and find it difficult to maintain balance.

  2. Decline in Muscle Strength. Many people experience a decrease in muscle strength as they grow older. Some may begin to struggle with everyday activities such as standing up, going up or down stairs, or bending over. When the muscles are not strong enough, it makes it harder to prevent and avoid falls.

  3.  Poor Eyesight. Vision problems can create issues with coordination and balance. The inability to identify obstacles can also increase senior fall risk.

  4. Poor Balance. The feeling of being unsteady when walking can increase the risk of a fall. Poor balance can result from a loss of muscle strength as mentioned above. As seniors age, balance is crucial to moving from one step to the next.

  5. Slower Reaction Time. Quick reaction time can be the difference between continuing a walk and a trip to the hospital. The brain goes through natural changes as we age, which decreases our reaction time and makes it difficult to recover our balance or avoid obstacles.

  6. Other Health Issues. Underlying health conditions can increase the risk of falling as well. Hurrying to the bathroom due to bowel issues or incontinence can end with a fall. Those experiencing dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or another form of memory loss are at a greater risk for falls. Memory loss may cause issues with mobility, balance, and muscle weakness or cause trouble processing images and slow reaction time. It may also require one to take medications that causes drowsiness or dizziness.

What can be done to prevent a fall? The most important prevention tip is to keep moving! At Evergreen Senior Living in Decatur, our staff is motivated to keep your loved one active and thriving. Check out our fall risk-reducing activities in our supportive living community like the Senior Flex Fitness Center, where seniors can work on their fitness. Our comforting amenities at The Legacy: Memory Care also include movement-positive outdoor activities. Do you have questions about our supportive living or memory care communities? Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly staff members! (217) 864-4300

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