Falls are terrifying. One moment you’re standing up. And the next you’re disoriented and plummeting towards the ground.
And then SLAM. You feel the shock everywhere… from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
If you’re lucky, you’re just left with an aching body and a bruised ego. But with each passing year, your risk of breaking a bone when you take a tumble goes up.
And you know what a broken hip or fractured foot can mean when you’re not exactly a spring chicken anymore. For some folks, it can be the beginning of the end.
Which means staying upright should be one of your TOP priorities, as you age.
And now new research has just revealed the hidden cause of many falls in seniors. Plus, a potential “cure.”
Fall and infection risk skyrocket with dehydration
If you’ve become a bit less steady on your feet as you’ve grown older, you’re in good company. Many folks find that they do.
So your fall risk is already higher by the time you’re officially a senior. In fact, one-third of adults over age 65 fall each year.
But it turns out dehydration is a major cause of frequent falls in older folks. It’s estimated that up to 40 percent of seniors regularly aren’t getting enough to drink.
Which is a fact that’s often overlooked, according to a new UCLA study.
But that’s not the only thing not drinking enough can lead to. When you’re underhydrated it’s far easier to develop an infection, such as a UTI or pneumonia, too. And infections ADD to your fall risk, as well.
The good news is, simply staying hydrated could be the “cure.”
It can head off the dizziness and disorientation that could send you toppling over without warning. Plus, it can help keep those dangerous infections at bay too.
40% of seniors at risk for fall-linked dehydration
UCLA researchers recruited 53 volunteers age 65 and older for their study.
The researchers tracked hydration levels over three days. They took saliva samples twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Participants also answered questionnaires about their drinking habits and did “get up and go” tests to check on their mobility.
Demographics, health status, and any physical or psychological barriers to drinking enough fluids were all factored into the study as well.
The researchers found…
- folks were more vulnerable to dehydration in the morning
- people with mobility issues were more likely to not get enough fluids
- volunteers who struggled with incontinence drank less and often were underhydrated
Based on their findings the researchers estimate that up to 40 percent of seniors aren’t regularly getting enough to drink. And each and every one of them is at a higher risk for a dangerous, or even deadly, fall.
To reduce your OWN fall and infection risk commit to getting enough to drink every day. And be sure to focus on fluids first thing in the morning when you’re most at risk for dehydration.