Equilibrium means physical and social freedom
Changes in equilibrium at an older age
Ageing itself is no reason for dizziness or falls. According to statistics however, the risk of suffering from dizziness increases at an older age. Around 60 percent of all female and 50 percent of all male patients over the age of 70 complain about dizziness and disturbances of equilibrium. Because dizziness is so common in people of mature years, this is often interpreted in the doctor’s practice as a “normal”, physiological phenomenon of ageing.
Disturbances of equilibrium with consequences
The increasing change in the balance in old age emerges as a substantial risk factor for falls. Therefore falls are much more common in older people than in the young. Around one third of people over the age of 65 suffer a fall at least once a year. About half of these fall more than once, and a third suffer injuries as a result. Head injuries or fractures of the thigh bone near the hip joint are not uncommon. Fractures like this often heal poorly in people of an advanced age. After a fracture, mobility is substantially impaired in more than half of these cases, and in fact around 20 percent of them become permanently dependent on care.
A healthy equilibrium brings happiness
With increasing age the network of social relationships can become increasingly sparse. Trusted people in the familiar surroundings, who could help in certain situations, are less common than years ago. This results in the elderly increasingly losing their sense of security and fearing a life of loneliness. A lack of security, depression and anxiety can play a part in the increased incidence of dizziness. It is therefore recommended that preventive measures are taken at an early stage, because only someone who enjoys personal independence and mobility can maintain or even extend his/her existing social network. Simple tasks, such as walking to the bus stop, doing one’s own shopping, visiting the hairdresser or taking part in a public event encourage interpersonal contact. However, this depends on being able to stand on the ground securely with both legs. So it seems all the more important to decisively counteract natural, age-related disturbances of equilibrium, in order to be able to lead an independent, happy and fulfilled life in old age as well.
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