Dementia increases the risk of falling.
Research shows that people with dementia have a significantly higher risk of falling than people who don't have the cognitive disorder, says Alexa Rohach, a physical therapist at Providence Saint John's Health Center's Performance Therapy in Santa Monica, California. Dementia isn't a specific disease, but a general term covering a range of symptoms, such as memory loss or "a decline in other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities," according to the Alzheimer's Association. More than 5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer's, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases, the association reports, citing 2017 figures. To complicate matters, when people with dementia fall, they are three to four times more likely to sustain severe and possibly life-threatening injuries than people without dementia, Rohach says. "Because of heightened risk, fall prevention strategies are imperative to their well-being," she says. "To better protect this population, there are a number of steps caregivers and family members can take to decrease the fall risk.
Read about all 9 steps here: