Why are older people more prone to falls, and to suffer injuries linked to them?
As people age, their risk of falling increases. This is because their vision, sense of balance, and coordination is reduced, and muscles get weaker too. These contribute to a slower reaction time when they lose their balance. Certain medical conditions increase the risk of falls as well, such as cataracts, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, dementia, and osteoarthiritis.
Falls can cause pain and injuries such as bone fractures and head injuries, affecting the person’s ability to perform daily activities. In severe cases, it can result in disability, loss of independence, and death. It is important to understand the risks and learn what can be done to reduce them.
Most falls happen at home. Here are simple tips to reduce the risk of falling:
Although falls are more common among older people, they should not be accepted as a normal part of ageing. A single fall can cause serious injuries. It is important that you consult a doctor if your senior fell once, so that a proper fall risk assessment can be carried out. The doctor will:
Do consider regular follow-up consultations with the doctor. This will help you to manage and detect any new risk factors for falls earlier. It is also necessary to keep track of any deterioration in your loved one’s health that may require changes or modifications to your environment.
If your loved one is starting to get more frail, it would be useful to ask the doctor about completing an Advance Care Plan. This is another way to help you, your loved one, and the doctor to plan for future health needs.
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