Alzheimer's & Falling: What's the Connection?

Dr. Rein Tideiksaar - July 13, 2011 02:03 PM

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a disease associated with a loss of memory and intellectual abilities. The risk of developing AD increases with advancing age and gradually gets worse over time. One of the most common safety problems in persons with AD is that of falling. It’s estimated that up to 60% of persons with AD experience one or more falls annually. Of even greater importance, the risk of sustaining an injury from a fall is considerable. Fall-related fractures (e.g., arm and hip fractures) are all too common; often leading to long term care placement. If caregivers are aware of why AD individuals fall, they can take steps to prevent falls and potential injuries.

Risk of Falling
It’s important to understand that falls are not a normal part of AD. In order to stop falls from happening, it will help you to understand who is at greatest risk and why. There are certain conditions or situations putting AD individuals at high risk (i.e., persons with AD may not exhibit all the risk factors discussed. As the disease gets progressively worse, however, the likelihood of exhibiting a number of fall risk factors increases).  For example:
Altered Mobility 
Mobility includes the ability to walk safely and maintain good balance. Persons with AD tend to exhibit marked impairments with both, which places them at increased fall risk.  These include:

Cautions walking. This is characterized by individuals shuffling or not lifting their feet off the ground when walking. Walking is accomplished slowly with a slightly bent or flexed posture and uncertain foot placement on the ground.  Both situations can easily result in trips and slips.

Disturbed balance. Individuals exhibit a lack of ability to maintain stability during postural changes. For example, getting up from seated positions, reaching up for hard to obtain objects on one’s tip toes or walking up steps can result in poor balance.

The addition of disorders such as stroke, arthritis, diabetes, and neurological disease can seriously affect the walking and balance capability of persons with AD.

Altered Cognition
Cognitive loss is the hallmark of AD and adversely affects the person’s memory, thinking, and behavior. This can place individuals at great risk for falls. Altered cognitive function can result in:

Lack of understanding and awareness of the potential for falls and the need for assistance.

Judgmental errors, such as an inability to recognize a difference between safe and hazardous mobility, and a misperception of environmental dangers.

Overestimation of one’s capacity for safe mobility (“I can do it myself”), and, as a result, individuals attempt to accomplish tasks that they are no longer capable of safely performing by themselves.

Failing to remember limitations in daily living, such as forgetting that they can’t walk by themselves.

Insistence on performing activities, such as attempting to get up from a chair and going to the toilet even though they are wearing incontinence garments, either because of forgetfulness or a failure to understand the intervention

Inability to ask for assistance with mobility because of communication problems.

Refusing or forgetting to seek help with mobility or to use assistive devices, such as canes, walkers and bathroom grab bars.

Incapable of understanding the need for assistive devices or using them correctly.

Any significant loss of cognitive function can lead to:
Behavioral manifestations (e.g., wandering, pacing, agitation, restlessness, disorientation, hallucinations, etc.), which can result in increased fall risk. 

“Sundowning”, a specific type of behavioral problem, results in disruptive behaviors that appear during late afternoon or early evening (i.e., its thought that increased tiredness and/or lack of afternoon sunlight or lighting contributes to this situation).

Use of Medications
Taking too much medication or the wrong combination of drugs can sometimes affect judgment, coordination and balance. In particular, the use of psychoactive drugs to control mood and behavior can result in adverse effects (i.e., drowsiness, dizziness, unstable blood pressure and worsening confusion) that increase fall risk.

Altered Vision
Vision plays a critical role in avoiding falls. Good eyesight is necessary for an individual to distinguish their surrounding environment clearly and to detect any hazardous conditions correctly.  AD is associated with several visual problems that can heighten fall risk, especially when combined with hazardous environmental conditions.

Restrictions in peripheral or side vision. This can keep individuals from seeing hazards and objects in their path, and lead to trips or slips.
Decline in depth perception (i.e., the ability to judge distances and relationship among objects in one’s field of view). As a result, the person’s perception is no longer accurate. They may miss-judge where the edge of a chair is when sitting or not clearly judge the location of a step edge.

Loss of contrast ability (i.e., the ability to perceive spatial detail and contrast between objects). Individuals experience great difficulty walking from one surface to another, such as from carpeting to tile. They may perceive the new surface as a hole. Stepping off a curb can be especially challenging – they can no longer discern how far down that step is.

At least half of all falls in persons with AD occur at home. They generally take place during ordinary activities like walking, climbing stairs, sitting/rising from furnishings, getting in/out of shower/tub, etc. Common environmental obstacles associated with fall risk in AD include:

Low lighting, lack of nightlights and increased lighting glare.

Room clutter and slippery floor surfaces/rugs.

Low seating height of beds and chairs.

Low toilet seats and lack of grab rail support.

Aside from poor cognitive ability, there are several reasons why persons with AD fall. Next month’s blog will look at approaches to reducing the risk of falls in AD.

To learn more about Fall Prevention in Seniors, read Dr. Rein’s article, “Medications & Disorders that Increase the Risk of Falling”.

Rein Tideiksaar Ph.D., PA-C (or Dr Rein as he is commonly referred to) is the president of FallPrevent, LLC, Blackwood, NJ, a consulting company that provides educational, legal and marketing services related to fall prevention in the elderly. Dr Tideiksaar is a gerontologist (health care professional who specializes in working with elderly patients) and a geriatric physician's assistant. He has been active in the area of fall prevention for over 30 years, and has directed numerous research projects on falls and has developed fall prevention programs in the community, assisted living, home care, acute care hospital, and nursing facility setting. To learn more, check out the Dr’s professional profile on LinkedIn: If you have any questions about preventing falls, please feel free to e-mail Dr. Tideiksaar at

shdfs sdagfsad on Jul 09, 2013 03:04 AM gucci shoes outlet gucci handbags outlet north face clearance north face jackets outlet online monster beats outlet online beats by dre pro michael kors factory outlet michael kors outlet online coach outlet online coach outlet coach outlet usa coach outlet usa coach outlet online usa micheal kors outlet usa micheal kors outlet online michael kors outlet usa
wiki wify on Aug 14, 2013 05:08 AM
AD develops for an unknown and variable amount of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years. Thanks for sharing.
mba essay editing

Tommy Hilfiger on Aug 20, 2013 07:56 AM
$0I really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors for this blog. I will bookmark your blog and have my friends check up here often. $0$0ma thesis outline$0
saclancel saclancel on Sep 13, 2013 02:43 AM
Néanmoins, en essayant de trouver un vente privée Lancel de qualité supérieure, n'est pas nécessaire que vous investit liasse de billets à obtenir le sac à main réelle en conformité avec les choix ainsi que le voudraient. Il existe de nombreuses options pour obtenir les sacs dans un style rentable. Probablement le plus grand des conseils sur comment prendre plaisir à grands bons achats effectués disponible sur les sac Lancel bb est réellement profitent de les réductions de l'Internet offert à presque tout le internet dames sac à main est vendu. Comme la plupart de vos entreprises s'efforcent de compléter son sur le revenu net qu'ils progresser publiciser promotions distinctes sur les acheteurs en ligne. Ceux qui sont intéressés dans les bacs pour acheter en utilisant le World Wide Web, peuvent cliquer sur ces sites et l'est vendu pour être en mesure de rechercher à travers les dames des collections particulières de bb Lancel et de localiser l'idéal seul, bien que la conservation sur le sur les réductions en ligne. En faisant cela, vont qualifié pour acheter leurs meilleurs sacs à main à l'intérieur réduites en comparaison avec les coûts de l'industrie toutefois, acheter la marchandise authentique avec les garanties aussi. Trouver des griffes sur le web est choisie généralement par des femelles qui sont beaucoup trop actif pour aider la recherche à travers vos sélections de l'plusieurs vend individuellement en plus de vouloir les choix qu'ils achèteront pratiquement, pour être expédiés dans le particulier traite à l'intérieur de un style sans tracas. Une autre façon de faire progresser les bonnes affaires des sacs est fait par voir les différents sites internet d'enchères en ligne, en plus de fournisseurs de publicité à aller chercher sur la source de données des accessoires de mode à découvrir le sac à main, qui répond non seulement aux besoins individuels de style cependant leur disque dur désirs en même temps. Outre les pages web de la vente publique de la mode, vous les sacs à main qui êtes mal à l'aise avec la recherche des Lancel bb en utilisant le World-wide-web, sa référence; pouvez également parcourir les différents embrayages magasins-concessions et d'enquêter sur leurs choix particuliers.
garuda garuda on Sep 22, 2013 06:18 AM

Masih lekat dalam ingatan tentang Game online gratis yang terhampar luas dalam game pc terbaik yang bisa anda mainkan wahai Buku Cipto junaedy sembari anda asyik nonton mivotv sambil bersantai edit photo online di beberapa situs yang bisa anda singgahi secara langsung dan terdepan.

moncleroutlet moncleroutlet on Oct 12, 2013 03:18 AM
La maggior parte delle donne comunemente capire tutto difficile cercare un qualche tipo di Piumini Moncler terrificante ? le versioni che utilizzano aspetto superiore con bella maniera significativa . Eppure , Piumini Moncler donne capita di essere il prossimo facoltà per alcuni. Tale tipo di giacca , si avrà piuttosto una manciata di coloranti si potrebbe usare : Ametista, ebano , blu contenuto strisce popolano guazzabuglio ( linee oblique durante gradazioni di viola , grigio , marrone giallastro ) , Essi sono stati accuratamente combinati , utilizzando la struttura insieme con il lavoro . pre-caricato con grasso impermeabile, queste giacche di pelle capita di essere un bene per tutti i consumatori che hanno bisogno di alimentazione ideale durante Moncler . se vi capita di non sono a conoscenza di precisione posti per ordinare Moncler giacca abbordabile quelli fenomenale ? lt; buoni Anngers Moncler Donna cadere ombra giacca snowboard ?Se vi capita di pareggiare ora davvero non credo che il 2010 Different! giubbotti Moncler diverse Burst eccellenti mogli stella cadere cappotto tempo Khaki ? Piumini Moncler , si dovrebbe fare in modo ogni prospettiva in linea critica recensioni Sale . Moncler 2013 vecchio stile semplice superbe colorazioni unitamente allo stato selvaggio perfette " booties " unitamente importante lentamente ma sicuramente procurato per ogni carreggiata . Non molto tempo fa una buona stampa cronista dalla tua catena montuosa Moncler 2013 Cardy vecchio stile orientale dividendo imbattuto perfette " booties ", punti vendita al dettaglio , un bel paio di ragazze Moncler 2012 giovani capita di controllare diversi incontrare un paio di perfetti " bottini " 1 da 1 Moncler Italia . emise prospettiva fanno uso di 5 . 99 % quasi nessun confermare. la scelta di abiti di layout , avere capacità di pareti esterne del nord 73 . 24 % Denal Uomini Moncler giacca in materia di rivendita per i clienti caratteristica preferita espandono solidamente Moncler Bambino cappotto. Tuttavia, raggiungere notbuy , queste sguardo Moncler per gli amanti di cose schiaffo solidamente senza amici aply dare tutto tremendamente ancora più scomparire del tutto. Moncler giacca a vento è certamente anomala . Questi consegnano impronta si potrebbe Moncler Uomo desiderare di senza dubbio quasi mai conveniente il fatto che momento e in qualsiasi momento kinfolk navigazione lasciare in eredità e il vostro Moncler uscita una donna cappotti. di pelle insieme ad indossare i prodotti di layout Moncler , Moncler fornitore deve essere la vostra piuttosto buono Moncler 2013 dirvi innumerevoli possibilità giubbotto Moncler . Consigli di moda e stile, a
alang djas on Oct 19, 2013 11:06 AM
<a href="" >Manfaat Buah Bengkoang</a>
<a href="" >Khasiat Buah Delima Obat</a>
<a href="" >Manfaat Kulit Delima</a>

<a href="" >Fruits Benefits Healt</a>
<a href="" >Benefit of Dragon Fruit</a>
<a href="" >benefit of dragon fruit</a>
<a href="" >Benefit Honey For Health</a>

<a href="" >Resep Nusantara</a>
<a href="" >Berita Terbaru</a>
<a href="" >Tumbuhan Alami</a>
Andrew Jhon on Oct 30, 2013 09:27 AM
Thanks for taking this chance to debate this, I feel fierily concerning this and that i like learning concerning this subject. If potential, as you gain info, please update this web log with a lot of info. I even have found it extremely helpful.
zar nadi on Dec 10, 2013 02:05 PM
Thanks is for your infomation
Obat tradisional
zar nadi on Dec 10, 2013 02:05 PM
Thanks is for your infomation
Obat tradisional
Sandra Japa on Dec 12, 2013 02:58 PM
All about 18 weeks pregnant
health benefits of tomatoes
cara menghilangkan jerawat
Omar Borkan Al Gala on Feb 09, 2014 02:41 AM
Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Recent Post

Members Blogs

Post a Blog


Radio Shows



Interesting Websites

Interesting Blogs

Copyright eCare Diary, Inc. . All Rights Reserved