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5 Balance-Related Issues in Aging Adults

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four Americans over the age of 65 fall each year, and every 19 minutes one of these seniors dies from a fall. Many of these falls are due to the following balance-related issues.

1. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common type of vertigo that causes short episodes of dizziness, which can range from mild to severe. BPPV is most common in individuals over the age of 50. Though the vertigo episodes typically last less than one minute, experiencing BPPV may cause dizziness that leads to a fall. If your loved one feels dizzy when moving his or her head, talk with the doctor about BPPV. There are different treatment options available.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Tucson seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

2. Labyrinthitis

Labrynthitis is a disorder of the inner ear that often occurs after seniors have a virus such as the flu. A virus can cause inflammation in the vestibular nerves located in the inner ear. When these nerves become inflamed, dizziness may occur that could result in balance issues. If your loved one has an ear infection or seems to be dizzy after becoming ill, talk with his or her doctor. Medications are available that typically resolve labyrinthitis within one to three weeks.

3. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Older adults are prone to getting shingles, a painful rash that causes blisters and inflammation due to the varicella zoster virus. A condition known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome occurs when the shingles virus affects the inner ear, causing vertigo and balance problems. Talk with a doctor if your loved one experiences dizziness or hearing loss after having vertigo.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Tucson home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

4. Ménière’s Disease

Ménière’s disease is a condition that may affect seniors. It has similar symptoms to BPPV, such as sudden dizziness that could lead to loss of balance, but episodes last longer. An episode of Ménière’s disease lasts for 20 minutes to several hours. The condition is unpredictable, as episodes may appear months or years apart. If your loved one has Ménière’s disease, he or she should lay down until the episode passes because walking could lead to a fall.

5. Chronic Health Condition

If your loved one is having balance issues, a chronic health condition may be to blame. Eye issues such as macular degeneration may make it difficult to see, which could result in a loss of balance. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis can also affect balance. If a chronic health condition is to blame for the loss of balance, consider hiring a home caregiver to assist your loved one around the house.

Loss of balance often makes it difficult for seniors to manage daily tasks independently. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Tucson, Arizona, 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. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (520) 276-6555 today.