Age Sneaks Up: Three Possible Threats Your Elderly Loved One Doesn't Know They're Facing
No one really wants to admit that they're getting older, and the same can be said of senior citizens. If you have an elderly loved one in your life that lives alone or only with a spouse of the same age, it may be time to get them some help around their home. They likely don't even know that they're at an increased risk of injury from doing normal household tasks, but after you read this guide, you'll know all about it.
One of the biggest problems that senior citizens face is the potential for falls. As people get older, their bodies often become less coordinated and more clumsy. As a result, it's easier for senior citizens to experience falls.
The problem with this is that older people don't bounce back from falls the way that younger people do. Falling is one of the leading causes of bone fractures like a broken hip in senior citizens, which can even be life-threatening. And if that weren't enough, if your loved one has previously fallen, their risk for falling again actually goes up, not down.
Another issue older people often face is that their grip strength reduces dramatically. This is due to a combination of doing menial tasks like typing and grabbing things less often, but also because older people often develop conditions like arthritis in their hands.
Reduced grip strength might not seem like a big deal, but it can potentially injure your loved one. If they're reaching for something or trying to grab something heavy and drop it, they could end up hurting themselves, falling or breaking something that could pose a hazard to them. This is especially problematic if your loved one is reaching for something above their head.
Finally, the last major problem that senior citizens face is potential muscle weakness. Muscles gradually become weaker as people grow older. This can make it hard to pick things up — especially when combined with weak grip strength. But it can also increase the likelihood of your loved one being injured in general.
Weaker muscles make it harder to move around and harder to recover when you do something like trip or start to fall. Your loved one may also simply find it hard to move and take care of the daily activities that they need to, like showering and dressing.
If your loved one is getting on in their years, it's a good idea to hire someone to come out and help them around the house. This will let them continue to live independently but without as much of a risk to their health. Talk to a senior home care provider to get started with this process.