6 Common Causes Of Falls And How To Prevent Them
Posted By: Becky Davis - 3/18/2019 12:00:00 AM

There are several things that cause seniors to be at risk for falls. The list of potential hazards includes inadequate home safety measures, chronic health conditions, newly prescribed medicines, cognitive impairment, vision changes, and balance issues. Preventing falls by creating and using a care plan can help you or your loved one avoid injury. The following can you or you loved one prevent falls, couple with a care plan from a healthcare provider.

Changes in vision

Your depth perception and peripheral vision are affected when you experience vision changes. Declining vision can cause you to trip and fall if you do not see an item on the ground. Poor depth perception may cause you to fall because you miss grabbing something to stop yourself or cannot judge where a stair is placed.

A professional caregiver or a family member can help you with activities that require good vision if you need help. They can drive your car, help with walking through a cluttered home, or even read books or the newspaper to you. You could also consider surgery to correct vision changes. Eye treatment advancements have opened the door for people with many different vision issues to increase their independence. Talk with your doctor to explore your options if you need help with your eyesight. Be sure to have your healthcare provider check your eyes at least once a year as well.

Balance issues

There are many everyday tasks that test balance. Bending down to tie your shoe, walking up or down stairs, or getting into your bathtub are some activities that are difficult if you have balance issues. It is important for you to prevent falls by taking extra precautions when doing these things. Older adults do not usually ask for help with everyday tasks, but it is better to practice safety rather than risk an injury. You or your loved one should get the help of family or a caregiver to prevent injury and rehabilitation if you are unsure about living independently. A cane or stability device, such as a walker, can also be helpful.

Newly prescribed medicines

You may overlook new medicines as the cause of a fall. However, you should watch out for side effects like dizziness, which makes you more vulnerable to falling. Always ask your doctor and pharmacist about the side effects when you are prescribed new medicine and make sure that they know about all medications you take.

If dizziness or other side effects make you feel off balance, you have a few options. See if you can take the medicine at bedtime or when you can remain seated. If this is not possible, look into the option of having a caregiver help you while you get used to the new medicine.

Cognitive impairment issues

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have been linked to falls. When you have a cognitive impairment, you may develop balance issues and stability with posture. Seniors who have the conditions mentioned above will come to a point where they are no longer self sufficient and will need a caregiver. Mention your concern about falls to the caregiver. An individual who has cognitive impairment can make their condition worse without a fall prevention plan, especially if they hit their head.

Inadequate home safety measures

Seniors who have disorganized homes due to an accumulation of goods or hoarding have created a hazard for themselves. Even simple items like rugs should be removed or taped down if you or loved one have fallen. Help your loved one organize their home if they have things laying around that could cause them to trip and fall. Adding extra light in darker areas of the home and making the bathtub slip-proof are also good ideas.

Chronic health conditions

If you or a loved one have one or more chronic health issues, be aware that they can increase the risk of falling. There are many conditions that could contribute to a fall, so it may be difficult to create a fall prevention and care plan on your own. Discuss your condition with your doctor or healthcare provider to help you create a personalized plan.