Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

13.01.2011
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. The guidelines, a summary of which are published today 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."

Jennifer Beal | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>