Senior Fall Prevention: Reporting Dizziness Key to Safe Aging at Home

According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are the number one cause of death caused by injury for Americans over the age of 65. One reason is because falls are so commonplace: the CDC estimates that one in three older adults suffers a fall every year.

But another reason is that seniors are often reluctant to tell a doctor or a family member that they are having balance problems or dizzy spells. And that’s a huge problem…

…the hesitancy of some seniors can frustrate family members and medical professionals and compound an already serious problem. ”I think it’s more (about) that fear of progressing into a different stage of my life… They feel that their independence might be robbed if they self-report.”

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The irony is that NOT reporting past falls, balance problems, or dizziness is often a faster route to losing independence, sometimes permanently.

That’s because a bad fall for an older person can easily lead to a prolonged hospital stay and rehab. And depending on the severity of injury and degree of recovery, there’s no guarantee that an elderly fall victim will ever return to the same level of pre-fall mobility or independence.

Take fall prevention seriously. Get rid of obvious trip hazards such as clutter and throw rugs. Use a non-slip bathmat and install grab bars in the tub and shower. Get your eyes checked regularly. And insist your doctor review ALL you medications to avoid interactions that can cause dizziness.

Click here for the CDC’s Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults.