Why does ageing increase our the risk of falling? | Stride Physio Leamington
Updated: Feb 16
Falls can become a problem for us as we age which is why falls prevention cannot be ignored. Adults over 65 have the highest risk of falling, over 30% report a fall every year. This increase to 50% for adults aged 80 and over.
Their are many ways to prevent falls and they are not inevitable or a fact of life. However injury related admissions to emergency departments are the leading cause of admission for older adults. This is mainly due to the numerous reasons due to our ageing bodies.
Here are some risk factors that can increase the chances of falling in older adults:
Decline in muscle strength and coordination: As we age, our muscles naturally become weaker and less coordinated, which can affect our balance and increase our risk of falling.
Changes in vision: As we age, our vision may decline, which can make it harder to see obstacles and uneven surfaces that could cause us to trip or fall.
Changes in balance: Age-related changes in the inner ear, which helps us maintain our balance, can also increase our risk of falling.
Medications: Some medications, such as sedatives and blood pressure medications, can cause dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falling.
Chronic medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke, can affect balance and increase the risk of falling.
Physical inactivity: While it may be tempting to relax in your retirement, not being active can lead to muscle weakness and loss of balance.
Cognitive impairment: Being confused, which is common with dementia or delirium, can also increase the risk of falls, especially when there are a lot of distractions such as bright colours or loud sounds.
Malnutrition and Hydration: Inadequate nutrition may have an effect on the way our bodies work. This change in function may lead to falls. Therefore, it is important to have a balanced diet as we age.
Some of these risk factors can be managed to prevent falls, take a look at our 10 tips to prevent falls, Get in touch if you think we can help you prevent falls for you.