Looking after Elderly Parents?

Overweight Elderly People are at a Higher Risk to Fall

Being overweight in old age is especially challenging because it increases the risk of experiencing a fall by 31% according to new research from Australia. It increases the risk of having other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It is possible that the multiple medications older people take to control these conditions may add to the risk of falling by affecting balance and reducing peripheral sensation. General physical weakness and instability when standing or walking in the elderly also contributes to increased risk of falling.

Obese people are more likely to be sedentary for eight or more hours a day; and obesity is associated with chronic illnesses and chronic conditions such as lung disease and arthritis, which can limit activity and lead to weight gain.

To reduce the risk of falls, tailored programs such as strength and balance training, home safety assessments, and eyesight checks can be useful. Supporting clients to realize that their situation isn’t hopeless is a first step that can be followed up by an exercise programs, especially strengthening the quadriceps muscle group.

extract from: Extra Weight May Add to Elderly Fall Risk.  Medscape. Feb 19, 2014

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