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Why Do Aging Adults Lose Their Balance?

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Balance issues in seniors can raise the risk for accidents and injuries related to falls. Older adults often experience balance issues due to medication side effects or simple lifestyle factors such as not drinking enough water or leading a sedentary lifestyle. Here are some causes of loss of balance in seniors and what you can do to keep your aging loved one safe.

Ear and Equilibrium Disorders

Ear disorders are common in seniors and may affect equilibrium. When this happens, a condition known as vertigo may develop, causing a loss of balance. One of the most common reasons for vertigo is an inner ear infection or fluid in the ear. Vertigo often leads to a spinning sensation and can be so severe that it causes the person to fall. In addition to loss of balance, vertigo can also cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, palpitations, rapid eye movements, and disorientation. If your loved one complains of vertigo, make an appointment to see his or her physician. The cause of vertigo needs to be determined and treated as soon as possible to prevent balance issues, accidents, and injuries.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Jefferson County, Colorado, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Hypertension

One of the most common reasons for balance issues in seniors is high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can cause severe dizziness, abnormal heart rate, poor circulation, and neurological issues, all of which may be associated with loss of balance. If your loved one has hypertension, make sure he or she takes prescribed medications, follows a low-sodium diet, maintains a healthy weight, and avoids cigarettes and alcohol. Once hypertension is well controlled, balance issues may resolve. 

Older adults can prevent hypertension by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Jefferson County Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Poor Circulation

Circulatory issues can cause loss of balance in seniors. If blood flow isn’t optimal, your loved one may develop balance issues associated with leg weakness, cognitive deficits, dizziness, and blood pressure irregularities. If your parent complains of leg pain or has redness and inflammation on the back of the calf, seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. Long-standing or untreated circulatory issues may raise the risk for blood clots in the legs and lead to a loss of balance.

Cardiac Arrhythmia

Seniors may be more susceptible to cardiac arrhythmia than young adults. A cardiac arrhythmia refers to an abnormal heart rhythm, which causes palpitations, weakness, chest pain, anxiety, fainting, severe dizziness, and subsequent loss of balance. If your loved one experiences any of the aforementioned symptoms, seek medical attention. Once cardiac conditions have been treated, associated symptoms such as balance issues and dizziness should resolve. Treatment for a cardiac arrhythmia often includes medications known as beta blockers. While effective in establishing a normal heart rate and rhythm, beta blockers such as propranolol can cause muscle weakness, dizziness, low blood pressure, and loss of balance.

In some cases, loss of balance is the result of a major medical condition. Living with a serious health condition 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. Jefferson County seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly parent, call Home Care Assistance at (303) 987-5992 today.