Balance problems affect about 40% of older adults. Poor balance increases a person’s risk of falling. And fall-related injuries often result in an elder having to move to a living situation that provides more supportive care.
A person with good balance can stand, walk, sit, and change position while easily staying upright. Without even thinking about it! It requires excellent coordination between the muscles and the senses (eyes, ears, and touch). The senses tell the brain about a body’s orientation in space. The brain then tells the limbs, muscles, and joints what to do.
If your relative seems to struggle with balance, he or she may be experiencing
- vertigo, when everything seems to be spinning;
- dizziness, a sensation of weakness or lightheadedness; or
- disorientation, with feelings of unsteadiness.