Leading causes of falls
Deteriorating health as a result of ageing increases the risk of a fall. This can be due to a range of changes in the body, such as:
- Poor eyesight which can lead to problems judging depth or distance, or difficulty making out shapes (especially in dark rooms or areas)
- Weaker muscles, stiff joints and balance issues which make it difficult to walk, stand and navigate steps
- Reduced circulation in the legs and feet leading to reduced mobility and connection with the floor
- Slower reaction times and difficulty concentrating on two or more tasks at once
Often a fall is one of the first signs that a person’s health may be declining. This is because many of the signs of ageing happen gradually over time. It’s only when a fall or near miss happens that these issues can become apparent.
Be on the lookout for any changes, however minor, that could increase the risk of a fall. It might be something as minor as missing the edge of a table when placing a cup down or finding it difficult getting out of bed. Even frequent stumbles or ‘near misses’ can reveal an increased risk of falling later.
If someone has experienced a fall in the last 6 months, they are more likely to fall again.