What Causes Loss of Balance in Older Adults?

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Many older adults experience balance issues, which may be related to musculoskeletal conditions or other issues. Here are some of the most common reasons seniors lose their balance.

Inner Ear Disturbance

Good balance is crucial to daily life. It lets people walk with ease, climb stairs, sit down, stand up, and reach for objects on the floor and on the highest shelf. When seniors start to lose their balance, ordinary daily activities may become more difficult. For aging adults, inner ear disturbances are one of the primary causes of poor balance. Inside the ear is the vestibular system, which can become infected due to respiratory issues or viral infections. The vestibular system, also known as the labyrinth, is directly connected to the sense of balance. When it’s not working optimally, it can cause poor balance and vertigo. If seniors complain of dizziness as well as poor balance, it may be due to an inner ear disturbance.

Seniors with balance issues often find it difficult to manage everyday activities. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Castle Rock, Colorado, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

High or Low Blood Pressure

When seniors experience poor balance and dizziness, it could be due to suboptimal blood pressure. Seniors may feel lightheaded, faint, and disoriented when their blood pressure gets too low, or they may experience a spinning sensation when their blood pressure gets too high. To combat balance issues related to low blood pressure, seniors should stay hydrated, eat small meals throughout the day, and take care when sitting or standing. Seniors with high blood pressure, on the other hand, can increase their balance by reducing sodium intake and getting regular exercise.

Medications

Many seniors take multiple prescription medications every day. Medications can cause dizziness, blurred vision, and vertigo. If your elderly loved one has noticed a change in his or her balance since starting a new medication, do some research. You may find that dizziness is a common side effect of the prescription. If so, consider asking the doctor whether there’s an alternative your loved one could try.

Loss of Muscle Strength

The muscles and bones weaken with age. When combined with a loss of joint flexibility, which can be caused by inactivity or arthritis, seniors develop balance issues. To reverse the effects of aging on the muscles and bones, older adults should exercise regularly and focus on activities that promote muscle growth, which include walking, swimming, and weight training exercises. Seniors may also want to try exercises specifically designed to enhance balance, like yoga and tai chi. 

Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Castle Rock senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Many seniors don’t get an adequate amount of vitamin D. The vitamin is crucial for bone and muscle health, but it’s naturally obtained via sun exposure rather than via food. Seniors who don’t spend a lot of time outside may have a deficiency, which leads to weakened bones and muscles. If aging adults suspect they need an extra dose of vitamin D in their diets, they should talk to their doctors about supplementation.

Caring for seniors with mobility issues can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Castle Rock, CO, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at 720-287-1685 today.