Is your Mom or Dad not so steady on their feet anymore? Are they having to use a walker or are they getting around the house using the walls or furniture to steady themselves? Have they fallen recently… or are you losing sleep at night because you are afraid they will?
Well you are not alone and you have good reason to be concerned! Each year, more than 1.6 million older U.S. adults go to the emergency room for fall-related injuries. Among older adults, falls are the number one cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence, and injury deaths. Falls don’t “just happen,” and people don’t fall just because they get older. Often, more than one underlying cause or risk factor is involved in a fall.
Among the personal risk factors that Scientists have linked to falling are:
Muscle weakness, especially in the legs, is one of the most important risk factors. Older people with weak muscles are more likely to fall than are those who maintain their muscle strength, as well as their flexibility and endurance.
Balance and gait are other key factors. Older adults who have poor balance or difficulty walking are more likely than others to fall. These problems may be linked to a lack of exercise or to a neurological cause, arthritis, or other medical conditions and medications.
Listen with us as Crystal Rimes, Physical Therapist, helps us understand the “why” of falls in older adults and how to prevent them. Plus, hear our bonus feature special report as Kathy goes undercover to expose how some assited living complexes are ripping off seniors and their families!