Common Risk Factors for Falls in Seniors 

Engage $ Common Risk Factors for Falls in Seniors 

By: Jessica Plante, PT, DPT 

Research has extensively demonstrated that falls in the aging population are associated with multiple risk factors. The presence of the below risk factors increases the likelihood of falls among seniors. It is important to consider both intrinsic and extrinsic factors when assessing fall risk. Common factors that contribute to fall risk include: 

  • A history of prior falls 
  • Aging 
  • Gender 
    • Women fall more than men 
  • Medications 
    • Polypharmacy related falls are increasing significantly 
    • An individual on four or more medications is at an increased risk for falls 
    • Benzodiazepines increases the risk of night falls and hip fractures by 44% Antiarrhythmics, digoxin, diuretics, sedatives, and psychotropics also increase the risk of falling significantly  
  • Muscle Weakness 
  • Impaired Vision 
  • Sedentary Lifestyle  
  • Fear of Falling  
  • Gait or Balance Issues 
  • Medical Conditions 
    • Arthritis 
    • COPD 
    • Dementia  
    • Depression and Anxiety 
    • Diabetes 
    • Incontinence 
    • Orthostatic hypotension 
    • Parkinson’s disease 
    • Thyroid dysfunction  
    • Vertigo 
  • Poor Nutrition 
    • Can contribute to low body mass (associated with increased fall risk) 
    • Vitamin D deficiency can directly result in progressing muscle weakness, impaired walking, and osteoporosis 
  • Environmental Hazards 
    • Poor lighting or glare 
    • Missing bathroom grab bars 
    • Missing handrails on stairs 
    • Obstacles and Clutter 
    • Uneven surfaces 
    • Poor use of assistive devices 


Appeadu MK, Bordoni B. Falls and Fall Prevention in Older Adults. [Updated 2023 Jun 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, September 11). Patient & caregiver resources. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, February 3). Fall prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls. Mayo Clinic.