The number one cause of injury to seniors is falls. Falls are a major concern, as resulting injuries can disable a normally healthy senior, or become serious accidents: falls are also the number one cause of accidental death to seniors.
In order to take care to prevent falls from happening, review the list of major causes of senior falls:
- If a senior has a limited range of motion due to illness, or prior injury. This is especially relevant when the decreased range of motion is new, and the individual is struggling to adapt.
- Hazards in the house. This can especially happen in the event of an independent senior with limited mobility; hazards can start to accumulate around the house. Common tripping hazards include lose carpets, cords, unstable shelving, and staircases.
- Not getting enough exercise can significantly reduce a senior’s ability to balance and control their body. Exercise, even if it’s just walking, is vital to maintaining muscles and coordination.
- Side effects from medications can sometimes reduce coordination or cognitive function.
- Poor eyesight can often be to blame, or even poor lighting limiting ability to navigate in the house.
- Shortly after a surgery is the time when seniors are at a heightened risk of falling, especially if they have been in hospital for some time, and taking medications. Common surgeries such as hip replacements need time to reestablish an ability to walk normally.
If one of the above factors is likely to affect your senior loved one, it is important to discuss with any caregivers to determine a course of action to mitigate the risk.