Falls are the leading cause of death, injury and hospital admissions among the elderly population. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one out of every four Americans aged 65 and older falls every year. Not only are seniors more prone to falling, but they are also more susceptible to fall-related injuries such as a broken hip or head trauma. Understanding why older individuals are at an increased risk can help family caregivers take the proper precautions to keep their loved ones safely on their feet.
1. Decline in Physical Fitness. Many adults become less active as they get older, which exacerbates the physical effects of aging. Failure to engage in even mild exercise on a regular basis results in reduced muscle strength, decreased bone mass, loss of balance and coordination, and reduced flexibility.