As an older person, you may exercise care when navigating icy sidewalks or making your way up and down stairs to minimize your risk of falling and hurting yourself, and you would be wise to do so. Nowadays, falls are the single-largest cause of injury, fatality and hospital visits among Americans 65 and over, and there are many reasons why this is the case.
As a senior, you may have factors in your life that place you at a higher risk of taking a tumble than those across other age groups. Additionally, the more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to experience a serious fall and suffer broken bones, head injuries or even death as a result. As you grow older, your risk of falling may rise if:
You take prescription medications
It is common for people in your age group to use prescription medications to treat various conditions, but some of these drugs cause dizziness, imbalance or low blood pressure, all of which can contribute to your chance of falling. If you take multiple prescription medications at the same time, it is important to learn how they interact with one another, as mixing medications can make you even more uneasy on your feet.
You have problems with your vision
Unfortunately, your vision tends to decline as you grow older, and this can make you less likely to spot potential hazards in your way, whether they come in the form of black ice, cluttered aisles or what have you. Even if you are otherwise in optimal physical health, degenerative eye diseases and related vision problems can place you at substantial risk for a fall.
Your environment is disorganized or unkempt
Environmental factors, among them loose wires, insufficient lighting, wet floors or cluttered staircases, are also often contributing factors when seniors fall and injure themselves. If you are in poor physical health or have vision problems, disorganized or cluttered spaces can prove even more dangerous for you.
While taking steps to organize your home or work environment and wearing eyeglasses or contacts as prescribed can help reduce your risk of falling, there is only so much you can do if others are negligent with upkeeping their property.