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Home Health Blog

Research points to ways to prevent elderly falls

Posted by RHHAdmin on Sep 12, 2012 12:18:00 AM

Senior falls are one of the major risks in elderly care, particularly for older adults who do not have a home health care worker to help them with day-to-day activities. Family members of a senior may want to look into a caregiver to be with their loved one when they cannot, as it could help reduce the risk of injury.

According to new research out of the Cochrane Library, some interventions could help prevent falls in people over the age of 65. The study's authors looked at close to 160 trials that included a total of 79,193 test subjects. The researchers used these trials to determine some of the best forms of interventions in preventing the episodes.

The researchers noted that lack of balance remains one of the major causes in senior falls, along with poor vision. In the study, the authors write that providing the senior with a trained therapist could help them get the exercise they need to help increase their balance. The scientists looked at seniors who were placed in an intervention program and compared them to a control group.

"Multiple-component exercises carried out either in groups or by individuals when prescribed in their homes significantly reduced the rate of falls and reduced an individual's risk of falling," says lead author Lesley Gillespie, who works in the Department of Medicine of Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that vitamin D supplements did not reduce the fall risk in patients who took the vitamins in comparison to the control group.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the source of most bathroom injuries. The news provider reports that one-third of seniors who experience falls are diagnosed with a fracture after the episode.

The CDC reports encouraging a senior to take up exercise regimens such as tai chi can help with balance. Additionally, it's a good idea to look at medication side effects to see if dizziness is one of the issues. Having a home health care worker can also help keep the senior in check while aging in place. These individuals can be there should a fall occur, and they can make sure that the senior gets the proper treatment almost immediately after the episode.

Residential Home Health is a leading provider of in-home nursing and therapy care throughout Michigan and Illinois. In addition to home health care, Residential's continuum of care includes Residential Hospice and Healthy Living Medical Supply. If you are interested in learning more about the home care services Residential provides, please call 866-902-4000 or visit www.residentialhomehealth.com.

Topics: Fall Prevention, Health News