Why The Elderly Falls: Behavioral Risk Factors

Why are the elderly prone to falls?  One reason is their weakened physical state.  As people get older, their bodies undergo changes and do not function as they used to.  Another reason is the environment.  There are many things inside and outside the home that cause an individual, particularly an older adult, to lose his or her balance and stumble.

Nonetheless, elderly falls are also caused by certain behaviors. There are a number of behavioral risk factors that contribute to the falling of the elderly.  One of them is a history of falling.  An older individual who has suffered from a previous fall is more vulnerable to another fall; this is because the last falling incident may have affected his or her balance, strength and reflexes.

Risky behavior can also make seniors prone to falls.  Older adults who stand on unsteady chairs and climb on ladders are making themselves more at risk.  Seniors who hurry, as well as those who fail to pay attention and use prescribed mobility devices become at risk too.  Even excessive alcohol consumption falls under the category of  risky behavior.

Improper diet and lack of exercise are also behavioral risk factors. Improper diet contributes to falls because the lack of nutrients leads to weakness and dizziness, and increases the risks of bone fractures. Meanwhile, the improper use of medication or prescription drugs
influences a person’s alertness, coordination and judgment.  Even clothing and footwear are risk factors.  All the aforementioned behavioral risk factors contribute to elderly falls.