Falls among the elderly are no laughing matter. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in three seniors age 65 and older are predicted to fall each year, which may cause serious injuries.
In order to help aging adults stay fall-free in 2012, the American Family Physician discussed what causes falls and ways to prevent them.
According to the source, many senior falls can be attributed to normal changes that occur with age such as worsening eyesight or poor hearing. These conditions can throw off a person's balance or their ability to gauge what's in front of them.
Certain medications like those that reduce blood pressure levels or aid sleep might also create problems with an elder's balance. Seniors taking four or more medications at once are much more likely to suffer a fall, while those who recently changed medications might have difficulty focusing for the first two weeks.
To help prevent falls, seniors should start by making their homes safer. Adding grab bars, using night lights and removing electrical cords from walkways might help. If elders feel their depth perception is off, it might be beneficial for them to schedule a visit with their doctor to see if they need a new prescription or if their medicines are throwing off their balance. Installing a medical alert system into a parent's home might also build their confidence. This wearable device allows seniors to remain independent with the added security of always being able to call for help.