June 2nd, 2017
Changes in life situations can be hard to handle – and even more so when those changes threaten to make daily activities life-threatening. Muscle weakness, joint problems, pain, disease, and neurological difficulties can all contribute to mobility problems among the elderly – and those problems can be more serious than some people may think, especially when compromised mobility ends up causing unsteadiness while walking, difficulties with getting in and out of a chair or, worse yet, falls.
Approximately one third of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age, so that by the age of 80, over half of seniors fall annually. Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again, and not only are injurious falls the leading cause of death in the elderly, but 87 percent of all their fractures are due to falls.
What can be done to lower risks?
In addition to reducing hazards in the home and encouraging strength and mobility exercises or activities, it is important for caregivers to inform doctors or nurses about the mobility problems of a loved one, and make note of any prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines that can cause drowsiness or distractions. Plus misdiagnosed eye conditions or diseases like arthritis can often increase the risk of dangerous falls.
Use this handy Elderly Mobility Scale (EMS) Calculator to determine you or your loved one’s level of mobility: