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What are the Risk Factors for Seniors Falling?

June is National Safety Month. Some people think that falling is just a part of getting older, but the truth is that falls are always caused by something. The reason could be a medical condition, a physical factor, or because of some outside factor that made a situation less safe.

Home Care Needham MA - What are the Risk Factors for Seniors Falling?

Home Care Needham MA – What are the Risk Factors for Seniors Falling?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Every second of every day in the United States an older adult falls, making falls the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injuries among older Americans.” Knowing the risk factors that can cause a senior to fall can help to prevent your senior loved one from becoming a part of this statistic.

Risk Factors for Falling

There are many reasons that a person falls, and sometimes a fall is the result of more than one risk factor. Having multiple risk factors increases the chances a senior will fall.

Some of the risk factors for falling are:

Medications that cause dizziness or lightheadedness, interact with other medications, or cause blood pressure to dip to low.
Pain, including pain due to arthritis.
Parkinson’s disease.
Diabetes.
Dehydration.
Low vision.
Stroke.
Incontinence that causes more frequent trips to the bathroom.
Anemia.
Thyroid problems.
Balance issues.
Problems with the feet.
Muscle weakness.
Fear of falling.

When the above factors are combined with external risk factors, the risk of falling becomes even greater.

Some external factors include:

Uneven or poorly designed stairs.
Wearing improper footwear.
Lack of handrails for stairs.
Poor lighting.
Lack of grab bars in the bathroom.
Uneven surfaces.
Slippery surfaces.
Not using a mobility device correctly.
Tripping hazards.

Lifestyle Changes that Reduce Fall Risk

Experts agree that seniors can reduce their risk of falling by making some healthy changes to their lifestyles.

Some changes that can help are:

Exercising regularly, which can increase muscle and improve balance.
Make changes around the home to improve safety, such as adding handrails and grab bars, and removing tripping hazards.
Wearing properly fitted shoes that are not slippery and do not have high heels.

Ways an Elderly Home Care Provider Can Help

Concern that your parent might fall and be left lying for hours or even days can add a lot of extra stress to your life. Hiring an elderly home care provider can help allay some of those fears. Elderly home care providers can help your parent prevent falls by assisting them with tasks that might make a fall more likely, such as getting to the bathroom and some housekeeping duties. They can also help your parent to fall-proof their home by removing loose rugs, wires, and other tripping hazards. In addition, if your parent has only recently started using a mobility device, an elderly home care provider can remind them to use the device and help them to use it correctly.

Sources:  https://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/causesandriskfactors/01.html
https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/risk_factors_for_falls-a.pdf
http://www.healthinaging.org/aging-and-health-a-to-z/topic:falls/info:causes-and-symptoms/
https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0922-older-adult-falls.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Needham MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.

Erica Tomasello, CEO

Erica Tomasello, has a background in Education and Clinical Psychology. She has worked with her mother for years, developing Care Resolutions into a premiere agency. Erica, and in turn, the agency's staff, continue to expand their knowledge with the ever growing development of understanding the aging process and geriatric disease. We are a member with Home Care Association of America and NFIB. We are also affiliated with NASW, National Association of Professional and Executive Women, Alzheimer's Partnership, Alzheimer's Association of Mass, MA Council for Home Care Aides.