What are the risk factors for falling?
Risk factors for falls among the elderly include poor balance and gait, slower reaction time, and wearing wrong footwear. Prevent falls, injuries, and fractures by paying closer attention to these risk factors.
Gravity can be dangerous to seniors, and the science bears this out.
Around one-third of people in Singapore aged 60 and over have experienced more than one fall1. As one ages, one’s body takes a longer time to recover, and it may cause more harm to a senior citizen’s body than it would in a comparatively younger person.
Any injuries or fractures suffered by a senior citizen may lead to lower mobility, thus affecting their quality of life... at best. Many such falls can be fatal—in Singapore, 40 per cent of injury-related deaths are due to falls2.
Another study in Singapore found that two in three people aged over 60 have a fear of falling. And more than one in three of them restrict their activities as a result of this fear3.
Know your risks
This is why there needs to be more awareness about injury-causing falls. Even though it's a topic that not many of us want to discuss – because it means we have to admit we're getting frail – it's crucial to know the risks. Here are some risk factors for falls among the elderly:
- Poor balance and gait. We lose some coordination when we get older, and our balance can be affected too. We may feel a little more unsteady when we're walking. To remedy this, stay active to keep your coordination and balance in good shape. Gentle exercises like walking and tai chi improve balance, strength, coordination and flexibility.
- Slower reaction time. We react slower as we get older, which means we'll take longer to do simple things like reach for a handrail or turn our body in time to ward off the impact of a fall.
- Wearing wrong footwear. It's important to choose the right footwear when you're older (there's a reason they're known as 'sensible shoes'). Stay away from high heels, and don't walk in just your socks or stockings. Choose footwear with non-slip soles. And make sure they fit well, too!
- Environmental hazards. You've lived in your home for years and haven't given a second thought to whether it's safe. Well, you should think again – 63 per cent of falls in Singapore happen at home4. It could be a result of clutter, poor lighting or even loose carpets. Think about any modifications you need to make your home safer, such as installing handrails.
- Muscle loss. We lose muscle mass as we get older, starting from when we're in our 40s. The rate is 7-8 per cent per decade from that age, and it goes up to 15 per cent per decade after the age of 70. By the time we're 70, we would have lost 25 per cent of our muscle mass5.
Age related muscle loss’s effects are insidious. Over time, we’ll move slower than before; simple tasks like climbing stairs and getting up from a chair become more difficult. When age-related muscle loss is in play, there's an increased chance that you’ll suffer a harmful (or fatal) fall.
Nutritional drinks can provide you with added nutrition and strength to counterbalance the effects of age related muscle loss. Enercal Plus is specially formulated to provide you with the necessary nutrients as part of a balanced diet for an individual of your age.
Enercal Plus’s high-quality protein blend encourages tissue building and growth. With Enercal Plus, you can be better prepared against age related muscle loss, and be ready for life in your golden years!