Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New guidelines for preventing falls in the elderly include: Start tai chi, cut-back on meds

Date:
January 13, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
According to the first update of the American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatric Society's guidelines on preventing falls in older persons since 2001, interventions for preventing falls should include an exercise component and a number of new assessments should be used, including; feet and footwear, fear of falling, and ability to carry out daily living activities.

In the first update of the American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatric Society's guidelines on preventing falls in older persons since 2001, they now recommend that all interventions for preventing falls should include an exercise component and that a number of new assessments should be used, including; feet and footwear, fear of falling, and ability to carry out daily living activities.

Related Articles


The guidelines, a summary of which are published January 13 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, also state that fall screening and prevention should be a part of all healthcare practices for older adults.

The guidelines were compiled by a panel comprising members from the previous panels and new members with substantial knowledge, experience, and publications in fall prevention and care of older patients, and are based on a systematic review of the randomized controlled trials of fall prevention interventions. The literature search included meta-analyses, systematic literature reviews, randomized controlled trials, controlled before-and-after studies, and cohort studies published between May 2001 and April 2008. The panel also reviewed the RCTs published between April 2008 and July 2009 and concluded that the additional evidence did not change the ranking of the evidence or the guideline recommendations.

"Falls are one of the most common health problems experienced by older adults and are a common cause of losing functional independence," said Dr. Mary Tinetti of Yale University School of Medicine, USA, and one of the panel chairs. "Given their frequency and consequences, falls are as serious a health problem for older persons as heart attacks and strokes."

The guidelines now state that doctors and other health professionals should determine whether their older patients are at risk of falling by asking if they have fallen recently or if they are unsteady walking. If so, health providers should look for the presence of known problems such as muscle weakness, poor balance or blood pressure that drops too much on standing. If they have these problems, then older adults should receive the interventions described in the guidelines, but if there is no evidence of gait problems or recurrent falls, they do not require a risk assessment.

The new recommendations for interventions focus on:

  • Multifactorial interventions which include exercise for balance, gait and strength training, such as Tai Chi or physical therapy
  • Environmental adaptation to reduce fall risk factors in the home and in daily activities
  • Cataract surgery where needed, but they recommend against vision intervention as an individual approach
  • Medication reduction, regardless of the number of medications prescribed (in 2001 this was only recommended for those on at least four) with particular attention to medications that affect the brain such as sleeping medications and antidepressants
  • Focus on raising low blood pressure and managing heart rate and rhythm abnormalities

"We found that the most effective trials for preventing falls in older people looked at multiple interventions rather than just one; previous studies have indicated that it is more effective to focus on one intervention, but because we looked at not only what recommendations were given, but also which carried out, we're confident that multifactorial interventions is the best course of action," said Tinetti.

"There is emerging evidence that the rate of serious fall injuries, such as hip fractures, is decreasing modestly in areas in which fall prevention is integrated into clinical practice. By making fall prevention part of the clinical care of older adults this trend can continue."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "New guidelines for preventing falls in the elderly include: Start tai chi, cut-back on meds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110113082714.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, January 13). New guidelines for preventing falls in the elderly include: Start tai chi, cut-back on meds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110113082714.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "New guidelines for preventing falls in the elderly include: Start tai chi, cut-back on meds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110113082714.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins