What can the elderly do to decrease their number of falls?
Lots of things! Lifestyle modifications are best: structured exercise programs and home safety interventions (like get rid of throw rugs and electrical cords across walkways). Multifactorial assessment and inv=tervention programs reduce the rate of falls, but not the risk of falling.
What has NOT been found to work? Vitamin D supplementation AND education about fall prevention has not been shown to decrease the rate or risk of falls.
Why is this so important? 1/3 of people older than 65 years old fall each year. Falling once doubles a person’s chance of falling again. One out of every five falls causes a serious injury like a head injury or a broken bone. If an elderly person falls and requires hospitalization, their average bill is usually over $17,000. Wow!
So, exercise and keeping the home free and clear of clutter underfoot are key!
I hope this helps.
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