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When thinking about what might put you at risk for a fall and resultant injury, there are a number of risk factors. Certain diseases, syndromes and disabilities will raise the risk of falling. Parkinson's Disease, a history of stroke, arthritis, cognitive impairment and visual impairments can all adversely affect balance and stability. To mitigate these risks, seniors should see a health care provider regularly for chronic conditions and have an eye doctor check their vision at least once a year. Some medications can also adversely affect balance and reaction times; asking your doctor or pharmacist to review all your medicines and their interactions to understand and reduce side effects may help. Functional strength training and balance exercises can help modify the risks created by lower body weakness and mobility challenges.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|