Age-Related Changes that Increase Senior Fall Risk
As we age, our functionality start to decline. These gradual physical changes and decline can result in an increased fall risk for older adults. In fact, the CDC states that people over the age of 65 have a 25% chance of falling. And if they fall once, their chances of falling again doubles.
Age-Related Changes that Increase Fall Risk
Meridian Home Health, a trusted source of home health care in Newark, California, lists 4 age-related changes that can increase senior fall risk.
- Weaker Sense of Balance.
Age-related decline and medication side effects can make it more difficult for older adults to stay balanced.
- Loss of Flexibility.
Age and certain health conditions can make seniors less flexible, particularly in the hips and ankles. This stiffness can increase the likelihood of falling.
- Decreased Strength.
After the age of 30, we begin to lose approximately 3% to 5% of our muscle mass per decade. This loss of muscle mass means less mobility and greater weakness, and both of which may increase your risk of falls.
- Declining Eyesight.
Our vision helps us avoid obstacles and helps us maintain our balance. As your vision declines, it may affect your ability to clearly see what’s in your path which can lead to falls.
Ways to Reduce Fall Risk
As a leading source of home health services in California, our experts recommend the following ways to reduce a senior’s fall risk.
- Encourage regular exercise to enhance balance, strength, mobility, and flexibility.
- Make the home safer by improving lighting, de-cluttering key areas, and making necessary home modifications.
- Use properly-fitted mobility aids correctly (i.e., walkers, canes).
- Schedule regular check-ups with your primary care physician and ophthalmologist to treat or manage health and vision problems.
The Bottom Line
While falls can’t be avoided completely, you can take steps to reduce your senior loved one’s fall risk.
To keep your senior loved one safe from falls, watch out for the age-related changes above and consider the recommendations we have listed to reduce fall risk.