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04.21.16

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Articles in Category: Fall Prevention

Restoring Balance for Seniors with Vertigo

Restoring Balance for Seniors with Vertigo

Older patients with two or more chronic diseases may have multiple reasons for experiencing vertigo or dizziness. They may lose their balance due to muscle weakness, misalignment of the spine, brittle bones, vascular problems, vision loss, polypharmacy, or a sedentary lifestyle. Vertigo and dizziness affects approximately 70% of individuals age 65 or older. Heart disease, medication reactions, and inner ear problems are often the top causes of dizziness in older adults. In many instances complaints of dizziness and imbalance lead to hospitalization.

Falls and Fractures in Older Adults

Falls and Fractures in Older Adults

Falls are serious at any age and falling once doubles your chances of falling again. As one out of five falls does cause a serious injury which can limit mobility, reduce daily activities and make independence more difficult. Breaking a bone such as a wrist, arm, ankle or hip, after a fall becomes more likely as a person ages. Breaks and fractures from falls can cause serious complications, and even affect mood and management of other conditions. Each year, millions of older adults—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, one out of three older adults falls each year, and at least 250,000 are hospitalized for hip fractures.

Some older adults may have health conditions that make for difficult walking (e.g. limb amputation, foot or leg pain), have prescribed medications such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants or be taking some over-the-counter medicines that are disorienting. Loss of coordination or balance weakened eyesight or osteoporosis and weaker bones can all be risks for falling. Living in a cluttered home with floor and other hazards (e.g. unsecured rugs, the absence of handrails, or slippery floors) can also boost the risk for falling and resulting injury.

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