One of the biggest mobility problems seniors face is a lack of balance. This might seem like a relatively small problem, but it can make it challenging to get out of a bath, stand up from a chair, or even walk up an incline. Understanding the causes of balance issues can help you address the problem with your senior loved one before it causes dangerous accidents.
An often overlooked cause of balance issues is eyesight problems. There are several changes to vision as a person ages, and these can make it difficult to distinguish colors, discern depths, and focus on small items. Seniors may end up misjudging distances, failing to notice stairs, or being unable to recognize the textures of floors have changed. This can all lead to challenges with balance, so it’s important for your loved one to get regular eye exams and wear eyeglasses as needed.
Diminished Flexibility & Strength
As people get older, both muscle and ligament tissue become stiffer and smaller. This change in flexibility and strength can throw seniors off as they move around. Seniors may automatically expect to be able to lift their legs to a certain height because they’ve done so for years. When seniors are too weak or inflexible to do this, they might find themselves losing balance as they climb steps. Fortunately, a lot of lost flexibility can be regained by performing regular stretches and exercises to compensate for the change.
Aging adults who need assistance with exercise can benefit from having the support of in-home caregivers. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
The nervous system undergoes a lot of changes that can impair balance. Both the brain and spinal cord lose cells and start to pass messages more slowly, which can make it difficult for the body to relay information and move around with ease. Certain exercises, such as tai chi and yoga, can help. They don’t entirely reverse neurological changes, but they help seniors get used to the changes and accommodate movements more easily.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Anchorage seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Inner Ear Conditions
Seniors are more prone to infections, so they often end up with inner ear infections. This part of the ear contains the vestibular system, which is responsible for regulating balance throughout the body. If this area of the inner ear becomes inflamed, your loved one may experience vertigo, dizziness, and general loss of balance. In many cases, ear infections can be treated with a few simple prescriptions, but for some seniors, the loss of balance may be permanent.
Many circulatory issues, such as strokes and low blood pressure, can cause dizziness. This balance problem happens because the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, so your loved one may feel woozy and unbalanced. If you suspect circulatory problems are causing a loss of balance, your loved one should see a doctor. It’s important to address these conditions, and sometimes treating the underlying issue can also treat the balance problem.
Balance issues, no matter what the cause, can make it difficult for seniors to safely handle the tasks of daily living. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Anchorage families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (907) 770-0907 to learn more about our customized care plans.