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Why seniors are more prone to falling

While certain risk factors, such as wet floors, icy sidewalks and cluttered staircases, can cause anyone to take a tumble, your odds of falling and injuring yourself as a result increase considerably as you age. Falls among seniors have become so common, in fact, that reports that one in every four seniors suffers a fall every year, and that fall-related injuries are the top cause of hospital visits, injuries and fatalities among the elderly.

In other words, seemingly minor obstructions or hazards, such as inadequate lighting or supply carts clogging store aisles, might pose only minor threats to the average American. However, they can prove tremendously threatening for seniors, many of whom have other fall risk factors already in play. More specifically, many people within your age group are more prone to falling due to:

The use of prescription medications

Many older Americans rely on one or more medications, but often, prescription medications come with undesirable side effects. Certain medications, and certain combinations of medications, can lead to dizziness, imbalance or vision problems, all of which can increase your odds of falling.

A lack of exercise and motion

If you are like most seniors, you may have found that your level of physical fitness has declined significantly over time. When you move and exercise less, however, your muscles and bones weaken. This can make you more likely to fall in the first place, and it can also make you more likely to seriously injure yourself when you do.

Vision problems

Just as your bones and muscles tend to weaken over time, so, too, does your eyesight. Older people are prone to developing degenerative eye diseases, and diseases, as well as a decline in vision, can make you less likely to spot possible obstructions and more likely to fall because of them.

Certain steps, such as always wearing glasses or contacts, if prescribed, can help reduce your risk of suffering a fall, but there is only so much you can do when others fail to remove or remedy hazards on their property. 

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