As an older American, you face unique hazards each day that may place you at a higher risk of a slip-and-fall accident than the rest of the general population. Falls are so common among older people, in fact, that AgingCare.com reports they are the primary cause of injuries, deaths and hospital trips among seniors.
So what types of age-related factors may enhance your risk of taking a serious fall? Your risk of falling and injuring yourself tends to increase if you are:
Recovering from surgery
Your body tends to break down as you age, and many older people must undergo surgical procedures to reduce pain and improve mobility. Some procedures, such as hip replacement, can make you more likely to fall in their aftermath. This may prove particularly true if you are taking pain medications that may affect balance, vision and so on.
Taking certain prescription medications
In addition to taking pain medications after surgery, your use of other prescription drugs may also make you more prone to falling. Anti-depressants, sedatives and anti-psychotics are among the types of medications that may enhance your risk of a fall as an older person.
If you are among the many seniors who sees their levels of physical activity diminish over time, this too may compound your risk of falling and suffering an injury. When you reduce your level of physical activity, your bone mass and muscle strength tend to suffer, which in turn makes you more susceptible to falls and injuries.
In a poorly maintained environment
Immobility, the use of medications and other factors are likely to increase your chance of falling even more when you are in an environment prone to poor housekeeping procedures. For example, insufficient lighting makes you more likely to take a tumble. Loose carpeting, a lack of adequate hand railings on staircases and other obstructions in pathways also enhance your risk. While there is only so much you can do to counteract the natural developments associated with aging, many environmental obstructions are avoidable with a little preventative care.