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6 months ago · · Comments Off on Dementia and Senior Falls

Dementia and Senior Falls

An ever-increasing number of seniors are suffering from dementia and the risk increases as someone gets older. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neuro-degenerative disease. Other causes include brain lesions caused due to a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and other causes of brain damage.

Dementia can lead to several problems, including an increased risk of falling. Falls are a leading cause of serious injuries like broken hips, among the elderly.

Dementia affects balance

Dementia and other neurological problems are the most common cause of falls.

Walking is a complex activity that requires different areas of the brain to work together. Damage to any of these areas can impact your balance, making it difficult to walk without falling. Dementia is often associated with “motor apraxia” which involves difficulty coordinating limb movements. General cognitive decline can also affect a person’s ability to balance and walk. This further increases the risk of a fall.

Preventing falls in elders with dementia

Seniors suffering from dementia experience –

  • changes in cognition
  • poor memory
  • neurological impairments

All these make it harder to walk properly and maintain balance. As a result, there is a high risk of falls, which may cause serious, even deadly injuries in seniors who are already weak.

Safety measures, like handrails in bathrooms, and keeping the house clutter-free, can prevent a senior from falling. Some seniors may need a walker or an assistive walking device.

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