As people grow older, some might develop dementia. Unfortunately, for many residents of Pennsylvania who suffer, this can increase the risk of slip and fall accidents. It’s important to understand why.
What is the risk of falls for individuals with dementia?
Although not always inevitable, a person with dementia has an increased fall risk. This is because of the condition’s effects on the brain. It’s common to experience cognitive decline, memory issues, communication and problem-solving issues with dementia. However, some people with dementia also suffer from other health conditions that can raise the risk of falls.
What can cause falls?
Individuals with dementia may experience changes in their bodies in addition to changes in their brains. The way they walk and balance is often impacted as their gait may suddenly change. The body could become weaker as well. These issues often occur in the earlier stages of the condition.
People with dementia who don’t get enough physical activity can suffer more from falls. If they don’t stay in shape, it’s possible to decline physically. Memory problems and poor judgment can also lead to falls when it’s not safe to walk in certain areas, conditions or independently. For example, a person with dementia might need a walker to get around but think they are able to walk without it.
Dementia can lead to vision changes that can affect walking and increase the risk of falls. It’s easy for a person in this situation to misjudge and misstep, causing a slip and fall accident and injury to occur.
People with dementia are more likely to experience a fall when they are feeling fatigued. They might get up during the night to use the bathroom and suffer a fall. Drugs like antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines are used to treat dementia symptoms. They can cause dizziness, drowsiness and a dip in blood pressure upon standing.