As seniors age, their bodies become more fragile and susceptible to injury. While staying active and getting regular exercise can do a lot to mitigate this, a person’s body will naturally decline as they advance in years. Understanding common injuries in seniors can help shed light on the importance of a senior living community where residents are encouraged to exercise, socialize, and engage with the world around them.
If you are looking for a safe, welcoming senior living community, then look no further than Buckner. We are committed to senior safety at Buckner Retirement Services, and we have set up our communities and amenities so that we can minimize the risk of injury among our residents. Avoiding injuries in seniors is a responsibility shared by all members of our communities, from caretakers to the residents themselves. We take each resident’s safety seriously. To learn more about the steps we take to protect the seniors in our care, contact us at 855.931.5688.
Why Are Seniors Prone to Injury?
The aging process has a direct effect on a person’s risk for injury. As a person ages, their body naturally produces fewer hormones which maintain healthy muscle mass and bone density. This leads to a decrease in strength and flexibility, making it easier to strain muscles or break bones with even minor daily activities. The skin also begins to thin out, which decreases the protective barrier against outside elements like heat or cold.
Seniors are also more likely than younger individuals to develop chronic health conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis that can lead to an increased chance of being injured due to weak joints or bones that cannot support normal activity levels without breaking down. Similarly, chronic pain from old injuries may lead seniors to avoid physical activity or move in ways that put them at higher risk for further injury.
As people age, they often become less active than their younger counterparts due to various factors, including:
- Decreased stamina
- Reduced motivation
- Social and financial constraints
When seniors become less active, it can become a vicious cycle. Less activity leads to decreased ability to withstand and recover from even minor injuries, which can then lead to even less activity.
5 Most Common Injuries in Seniors
Falls are so common among seniors because many have age-related physical changes that make them more prone to falling. As people age, their muscles become weaker and less flexible, making it harder for them to maintain balance or react quickly when they stumble or trip over something. They may also experience a decline in vision due to cataracts or macular degeneration, which can make it difficult to see potential hazards in the environment. Some medications used by seniors can cause dizziness or drowsiness, further increasing their risk of falling.
Seniors are twice as likely to be injured in a fire compared to the rest of the population. One reason why seniors are more likely to suffer from burns is due to their physical condition. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and strength, making it more difficult for them to move quickly away from sources of heat or flames. Environmental factors are also at play. If a senior lives alone without family members or caregivers around then there could be potential fire hazards present in the home, such as faulty wiring or open flames that aren’t well monitored.
Sprains are some of the most common injuries in seniors, causing significant pain and disability. While sprains can affect people of all ages, they are particularly dangerous for seniors due to their age-related changes in body composition and physiology. Many elderly people also have medical conditions that reduce their range of motion or cause joint stiffness, further increasing the likelihood of a sprain.
4. Motor Vehicle Accidents
Seniors may not be as physically able to withstand an impact as younger drivers would. Their bones become weaker with age and are thus more likely to break during an accident. Because their muscles are weaker than those of teenagers or young adults, there is also a greater chance that they will suffer from soft tissue injuries such as whiplash or lacerations.
5. Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause long-term cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments, making them particularly concerning for seniors. The primary reason why TBIs are so common among seniors is the increased risk of falls. Many seniors live alone and may not have family or friends nearby who can help them in case of a brain injury, increasing the time before emergency medical services arrive.
Avoid Injuries in Senior Living by Joining a Buckner Community
At Buckner Retirement Services, we know how important safety is for our residents. That’s why we have measures in place for everything from minor injuries to natural disasters. We continuously monitor the health of residents and keep family members updated. To learn more about how we keep your loved ones safe, contact us at 855.931.5688.