What are some causes of falls? The normal changes of aging, like poor eyesight or poor hearing, can make you more likely to fall. Illnesses and physical conditions can affect your strength and balance. Poor lighting or throw rugs in your home can make you more likely to trip or slip.
A fall can be a sign of a new and serious medical problem that needs treatment. For instance, an older person can be weakened and fall because of illnesses such as dehydration, or a serious urinary tract infection.
A fall as a warning sign A fall might be the first sign of a new or worsening health condition. New, and often temporary, health conditions that can cause falls include: constipation. infection — including a bladder, urinary tract or chest infection.
Several factors contribute to senior falls. Why Do Elderly People Fall?
Other causes include safety hazards in the home or community environment. Scientists have linked several personal risk factors to falling, including muscle weakness, problems with balance and gait, and blood pressure that drops too much when you get up from lying down or sitting (called postural hypotension). 4
Falling becomes a cause for concern when someone who suffered an earlier head injury notices a sudden change in how they feel. For example, a head injury that leads to constant headaches might be more serious than they thought if a person feels sudden sharp headache pain where there was none before.
Falling More Frequently Than You Used To Everyone falls now and again — but frequent falling could be an early signal of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research. A study published in July 2013 in the journal Neurology found that presumptive preclinical Alzheimer’s disease is a risk factor for falls in older adults.
Falls can be classified into three types:
In women, high systolic and diastolic blood pressure was associated with a decreased risk of falls. An increase of systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg and of diastolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg reduced the risk of falling by 9% (OR 0.91, 95% Cl 0.84-0.98) and 8% (OR 0.92, 95% Cl 0.85-0.99), respectively.
Falls are not a normal part of aging. You can keep on your feet and avoid the risk of a fall. Take steps to stay safe and independent longer.
2. Non-benzodiazepine prescription sedatives. These drugs are usually prescribed to treat insomnia or sleep difficulties. This group includes the “z-drugs”: zolpidem, zaleplon, and eszopiclone (brand names Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta, respectively).
According to Cheng, “An 80 year old often can’t tolerate and recover from trauma like a 20 year old.” Cheng’s team found that approximately 4.5 percent of elderly patients (70 years and above) died following a ground-level fall, compared to 1.5 percent of non-elderly patients.
As we age, we lose balance function through loss of sensory elements, the ability to integrate information and issue motor commands, and because we lose musculoskeletal function. Diseases common in aging populations lead to further deterioration in balance function in some patients.
Falls in turn diminish function by causing injury, activity limitations, fear of falling, and loss of mobility. Most injuries in the elderly are the result of falls; fractures of the hip, forearm, humerus, and pelvis usually result from the combined effect of falls and osteoporosis.
One-third of people over 65 will fall at least once a year. Most falls occur on the flat; falls on the stairs or in the bathroom are relatively rare. Old women tend to fall in the house, old men in the garden.
Falls can cause adverse psychological impact on carees, increased fear of falling again, decreased self-efficacy, and confidence in balance .