9 Common Conditions That Increase The Risk Of Falls

Posted on: 19/10/2021

Falls can be caused by a number of external factors, such as poorly lit rooms or trip hazards, but they can also be caused by conditions that a person is living with.

If you or a loved one has symptoms of any of these conditions, it’s not only important to manage the condition but also to prevent the likelihood of a fall occurring, which could lead to further complications.

Here are 9 common conditions that can increase the risk of falls.

  1. Dementia

Living with dementia can increase the risk of falling for a couple of reasons:

  • The person may become less physically active as their dementia progresses, this could be due to not wanting or being unable to get out and about as they used to. As their physical activity decreases, they will be more likely to struggle with mobility, muscle strength and balance.
  • Certain medications they are taking may increase their risk of falling.
  • Becoming confused and disorientated may mean they are more likely to accidentally trip over.
  • Reaction times will be slower, which may make it more difficult for them to avoid potential trip hazards.
  1. Visual Impairments

Having poor vision will increase the chances of a person falling over, as their ability to perceive certain hazards will be diminished. The amount of physical activity they do may also reduce, if they become worried about their sight, which will lead to problems with mobility, muscle strength and balance.

This is why it is so important to ensure eye tests are taken regularly, especially for older adults whose eyesight is more likely to be affected.

  1. Hearing Loss & Problems With the Ears

Hearing loss and problems with the ears, such as an infection or a disorder, can increase the likelihood of experiencing problems with balance. Naturally, this will increase the risk of a person falling over.

Hearing loss may also affect the person’s ability to hear what’s going on around them, which may affect their spatial awareness and cause them to lose their balance more easily.

Just as it’s important to get regular eye tests, it’s also important to get regular hearing tests and get any problems with the ears checked over by a healthcare professional.

  1. Cardiovascular Problems

There are a number of heart-related issues that can increase the risk of falls, including low blood pressure, arrhythmias and heart failure. The chance of falling increases, as heart conditions affect the amount of blood and oxygen that can reach the brain, often leading to fainting.

  1. Incontinence

If a person struggles with incontinence, this could make them more likely to fall for a couple of reasons:

  • The sudden need to use the bathroom could lead to them rushing, which puts them at risk of slipping or tripping. This is especially true at night, where hazards may be missed in the dark.
  • If their incontinence causes embarrassment, they may reduce the amount they drink to reduce the chance of them needing the toilet. This often leads to dehydration, which can increase the risk of falls
  1. Dehydration and Malnutrition

Dehydration can cause dizziness and light-headedness, as well as weakness and low blood pressure. Naturally, this can increase the risk of a person falling over.

This is also true of malnutrition – if a person isn’t getting all the nutrients they need, it can lead to weakness and increase the risk of falls.

  1. Parkinson’s Disease

Someone living with Parkinson’s disease is likely to experience falls, due to the motor symptoms associated with the disease.

Loss of balance is common, due to slowness of movement, tremor, involuntary movements and freezing.

  1. Chronic pain

Conditions and other causes of chronic pain can affect a person’s mobility. This can lead to decreased physical activity, which increases the risk of falling, or the pain itself could cause a person to fall.

Common conditions include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuropathy
  1. Sarcopenia

The loss of muscle mass and function that is associated with sarcopenia can lead to functional decline, reduced mobility, and frailty. All of this means a person is more likely to experience falls.


To reduce the risk of falls, correctly managing these conditions or preventing them (where possible, such as with dehydration and malnutrition) is vital. In addition, taking safety precautions such as removing trip hazards in the home can also be really beneficial.

However, we understand that it’s not always possible to completely prevent a person from falling over.

That’s why, at Progress Lifeline, we offer packages that are built to provide complete reassurance and peace of mind that help will be at hand whenever it's needed – whether that’s when someone has a fall, or for any other emergency.

To find out more about the packages we provide, simply click here!