Falling for some reason seems to be so embarrassing for just about anyone you ever talk to. Great heights out in the open seem to bring thoughts of falling. Sometimes those thoughts will even overpower the beauty of whatever you are looking at. Big, tall bridges also bring about those same fears. When we are unfortunate to fall and it is in public the first thing most people do is to look to see who saw them fall.
Falling in the elderly is literally double trouble. They are fragile to begin with and therefore it makes them more likely to break something than a younger person. Medicare will pay for bone density screenings and if you have a senior health plan, such as Medicare Advantage, it will pay for any deductible you may owe. There’s lots of fun stuff you can do to improve the strength of your bones, like walking, dancing, tennis and swimming to name a few.
Many medical conditions that affect seniors can also increase the risk of falling.
On the web site learn NOT to fall they talk about how what ails you can also make you more at risk for falling. Here are some of the conditions and how those conditions can affect you or someone you may be caring for:
- Heart disease or failure (CHF) can cause dizziness, balance problems, muscle weakness and fatigue even with only slight exertion.
- Stroke results in muscle weakness and/or sensory imbalances on one side of the body, which can compromise one’s ability to move about safely.
- Parkinson’s Disease tremors, stiff aching muscles, and slow limited movement (especially from a resting position) are all fall risks.
- Low blood pressure especially when rising from a lying or sitting position, is a common cause of falls due to dizziness and/or fainting.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) getting dressed or fixing a meal can make you feel weak, dizzy or faint due to shortness of breath.
- Diabetes causes a loss of feeling in the feet (diabetic neuropathy), which compromises balance and a sense of where obstacles and uneven footing may be.
- Arthritis loss of joint flexibility makes it difficult to maintain a safe gait, to avoid potentially dangerous obstacles, and maintain balance.
- Vision problems, whether caused by glaucoma and cataracts, or just aging eyes, makes it far more difficult to judge distance and avoid obstacles that could trip you up.
- Mental confusion can increase the chance of a fall since it may be more difficult to determine whether an activity is putting one at greater risk, or it may take longer to respond to a situation where a fall might otherwise be averted.