are older people more prone to falls?
can be many reasons why an older person falls more often than a
younger person. For example, including:
people tend to be less active and have, as a result, more
fragile bones and poor reflexes to save themselves from falling.
may also be less physically stable due to changes in posture or
degenerative conditions such as arthritis.
have sensory impairments, such as reduced vision, that make it
difficult to negotiate stairs or walk around obstacles such as a
pile of toys or shoes on the floor.
medications may have side effects such as dizziness that promote
are falls so serious?
can lead to broken bones or soft tissue injuries, both of which can
lead to further health decline and poor quality of life in older
people. For example, of the 200,000 people who last year broke a hip
as a result of a fall, 20% died within 6 months, and another 20%
needed to move to a nursing home.
if their fall was not serious enough to cause a fracture, some
seniors may become so anxious about falling again that they severely
limit their activities. Doing so can seriously impair their
enjoyment of life, and actually lead to further health problems
that, in turn, can make falls more likely.
can falls be avoided?
are three key strategies in preventing falls:
treatment for conditions that may make falls more likely
adaptations to the personís environment
you have a fall, and even if you think you simply slipped or
tripped. you may want to talk to your physician about it. He or
she will ask where and when the fall occurred and will likely
examine you to find out if you have a health problem that might have
you do have such a health problem, you can often do something about
it. For example, a weak or arthritic knee can be strengthened with
appropriate exercise. Or you might find you need a new pair of
glasses. In some cases, you might need drug treatment for a medical
condition, such as an ear infection, that has temporarily affected
you have had a fall in your home, itís time to think about make
some changes, even if you have lived there happily and safely for
many years. Removing mats that can skid, improving lighting
throughout the house, changing the way you store items in the
kitchen (so you donít have to climb), and installing bathroom
grab bars are just some of the many ways you can help avoid falling