As we age, natural changes in our body increase the likelihood of a fall. Often we don’t notice these normal age-related bodily changes because they happen very slowly over a number of years. Individually, or all together, they increase your chance of a slip, trip or fall, making it important to stay fit and healthy, and manage risks in the home and community.
Personal risk factors include:
- Vision loss can decrease your ability to judge distances and depth, and to cope with sudden changes in light levels or glare
- Short-term illnesses like the flu or surgery, can temporarily increase the risk of a fall.
- Difficulties with balance, weaker muscles and stiffer joints can change the way we walk and move around confidently
- Feet and leg changes can result in less feeling, which can increase the risk of falls
- Reaction times may be slower and it may become more difficult to concentrate on several things at the one time
- Other health problems that can make it more likely that you will fall include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, low blood pressure, dizziness, and poor nutrition. Even short-term illnesses, such as the flu, can temporarily increase your risk of falling
- Osteoporosis (a condition where the bones become fragile and brittleix) means you may be more likely to break or fracture a bone if you fall