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Why Older Adults Have a Higher Risk of Decorating Injuries

Decorating injuries are always problematic during the holidays, and for older adults, the effects can be even more devastating. As Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin of Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center discusses in this video, for instance, osteoporosis can increase the risk of serious fractures resulting from injuries that may be less serious in younger people with stronger bones. Although everyone needs to take care while decorating during the holidays, here are some of the reasons older adults have an increased risk of injury.

Medication Side Effects
Many older adults take multiple medications each day to manage chronic conditions. These medications can cause side effects that can make decorating riskier than normal. For example, someone taking a medication that causes dizziness may struggle to use a ladder safely. Blurred vision and drowsiness are two other medication side effects that can make decorating less safe.

Failing Vision
It’s normal for eyesight to decline with age, and certain medical conditions can further exacerbate age-related eye changes. Failing vision can make it more difficult to decorate safely and increase the risk of things falls and burn injuries. If your eyesight makes it difficult for you to complete tasks, ask for help with decorating, so that you don’t injure yourself or inadvertently increase the risk of injury to others by using unsafe frayed wires that may have been difficult to see.

Chronic Medical Conditions
In some cases, chronic medical conditions can increase the risk of decorating injuries. Older adults with orthopedic conditions or who are recovering from joint replacement surgery may be unable to safely manage the weight of decorating items. People with heart disease could be at risk from the exertion required to decorate, while others who are recovering from a stroke may need physical or occupational therapy before they can undertake decorating safely.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers comprehensive services for older adults, including emergency care and geriatric psych in Las Vegas through our RISE Behavioral Health Department. Whether you need primary or specialized care, get a referral to a doctor by calling (702) 880-2700.