If you were to survey 100 elderly Americans about their biggest fears, falling would probably rank high on most lists. That’s because every year millions of seniors experience accidental falls that require medical attention, hospitalizations, and nursing home stints. And, as the aging process continues, a fear of falling can eventually limit an at-home senior’s activities to the point it threatens their wellbeing and independence. To help ensure that doesn’t happen to your loved one, try these reliable steps to help them overcome their fears.
Why are Seniors Afraid of Falling?
Once a person reaches age 55, their body undergoes changes that throw off their normal balance and coordination. Certain medications and cognitive impairment, like dementia, can also alter balance and coordination, and further increase a senior’s likelihood to fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an average year 1-in-3 seniors experience a fall, leading to these additional fall-related statistics:
- 2.8 million injuries
- 800,000 hospitalizations
- 27,000 fatalities
“1-in-3 seniors experience a fall in an average year” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Unfortunately, many seniors try to hide a fear of falling from others, including their adult children. If you suspect that it’s an issue for your loved one, there are several reliable ways to restore their peace-of-mind.
Helping a Senior Conquer Their Fears
First, have an open and honest discussion with them about falling, and how that fear is interfering with their nor