Reducing Falls in People Over 65
Several interventions can reduce the risk of falls for people over the age of 65 who are living in their own homes, according to a report published in The Cochrane Library. The reasons the elderly may fall include problems with balance, trouble with vision, and dementia. Approximately one in five falls requires medical attention, and one in ten results in a fracture.
A release from the source quotes lead author Lesley Gillespie of the University of Otago in New Zealand as saying, “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. Performing safety modifications and behavior changes in the home also reduced falling, and this was particularly effective in people with severe visual impairments and when the assessment was carried out by a qualified occupational therapist."
Some forms of surgery also reduced falling. People with heart rate disorders who were given pacemakers fell less often and women receiving cataract surgery on the first eye also had a reduced rate of falling.
Gradually withdrawing psychotropic medication reduced the rate of falls as well, as did programs in which general practitioners modified the drugs given to individuals.
Finally, wearing an anti-slip shoe device made people less likely to fall in icy conditions.