A fall can happen to anyone, but aging adults face a far greater risk.
According to the CDC, 3 million people 65 and older visited the emergency room due to a fall in 2019. While an array of factors play into fall rates, the below three reasons often play a key role.
1. Declining fitness level
As humans age, it becomes natural to have less physical activity. Even with regular exercise aging means a decrease in bone mass and muscle strength. That combo leads to reduced flexibility and balance, which increases the chances of a fall. That decline in physical fitness also means older adults have a higher chance of a serious injury during a fall.
2. Aging eyes
Few people spend their whole lives with perfect or nearly perfect vision. Avoiding wearing glasses or not seeking medical attention for eye diseases or conditions, such as cataracts. Any blurring of the visioning makes it more difficult to detect potential tripping hazards. Eye issues may also alter one’s perception of ground level or obstacles.
3. Taking medications
Whether an older adult has a chronic illness or simply takes supplements and over-the-counter medicines, they all have potential side effects. When a person requires numerous medications, they may experience multiple issues, such as dizziness or drowsiness. Other medications may affect blood pressure or glucose levels, further putting a person at risk of a severe fall.
Falls typically do not occur for only one of the reasons above. A combination of them may lead to a potentially life-threatening situation.