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Prevention of Falls News

Health Tip: Reduce Your Risk of Hip Fracture

Posted 5 days ago by

-- Hip fractures are serious injuries, especially in seniors. Falls are a prime cause. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers this advice on reducing your risk: Keep your home clear of clutter, making sure it is well lit. Install grab bars in bathrooms. Get regular exercise to strengthen bones and muscles, and improve balance. Each year, get an eye exam and a complete physical. Discuss all medications with your doctor, as some drugs can have side effects. Know your risk factors for bone loss and fractures. Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamin D and calcium. If needed, talk to your doctor about medication to improve bone health. Maintain a healthy weight. Read more

Related support groups: Fracture, bone, Prevention of Falls, Prevention of Fractures

Health Tip: At Risk of a Sprained Ankle?

Posted 9 days ago by

-- An ankle sprain occurs when the joint moves from its normal position, stretching and tearing nearby ligaments. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says activities that raise your chances of getting the injury include: Working out. Walking or running on a surface that isn't level or smooth. Falling. Playing soccer, football, tennis, basketball, running and other activities that include twisting or rolling your feet. Having your foot stepped on. Read more

Related support groups: Muscle Pain, Orthopedic Surgery, Prevention of Falls, Prevention of Fractures

Electronic In-Hospital Prescribing: Trouble for Older Adults?

Posted 11 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Preprogrammed doses of medications that can raise the risk of falls are often set too high for older hospital patients, new research shows. In the study, doctors looked at the records of 287 patients over the age of 65 who fell while staying in a large urban hospital. Some patients fell more than once, adding to a total of 328 falls in the study. Of those falls, 62 percent occurred in patients who had been given at least one high-risk medication in the 24 hours before their fall. Of that 62 percent, 16 percent had been given two high-risk medicines, while another 16 percent had been given three or more. And 41 percent of the medications studied were electronically set at doses that were greater than recommended for older patients. The 29 medicines examined included opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants and ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Morphine, Ativan, Ambien, Valium, Codeine, Opana, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Subutex, Dilaudid

Seniors With Hip Fractures Fare Better in Large Teaching Hospitals: Study

Posted 17 Oct 2016 by

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Seniors with hip fractures may be more likely to die if they're treated in smaller community hospitals than in large teaching hospitals, a new Canadian study suggests. About 10 percent of hip fracture patients in Canada die in the hospital, but little is known about how changes to patient care could improve survival, the study authors said. Researchers examined data from more than 168,000 patients 65 and older in Canada who were hospitalized with a first hip fracture between January 2004 and December 2012. For every 1,000 patients admitted to a hospital with a hip fracture, 43 more died at small hospitals (fewer than 50 beds) and 14 more died at medium-sized hospitals (50 to 199 beds) than at larger teaching hospitals, the study found. For every 1,000 patients who had surgery to repair their hip fracture, 11 more died at medium-sized hospitals than at teaching ... Read more

Related support groups: Hip Replacement, Fracture, bone, Prevention of Falls, Prevention of Fractures

Older Surgery Patients Should Be Screened for Frailty: Study

Posted 6 Oct 2016 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – Screening older surgery patients for frailty could improve their outcomes and chances for survival, researchers say. But frailty often goes unrecognized in these patients, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. "Patients with frail health have less ability to overcome stressors such as illness, falls and injury, and have a higher risk of adverse effects from medications, procedures and surgery," study co-author Dr. Angela Beckert said in a journal news release. Beckert is an assistant professor in the division of geriatrics and gerontology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. "If a patient is more robust, with better physical performance and vigor – in other words, less frail – then I believe surgical outcomes would be better," she added. Beckert's team screened 125 patients for signs of frailty; their ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Fatigue, Weight Loss, Weight Loss/Failure to Thrive, Surgical Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Prevention of Falls

Falls a Growing and Deadly Threat for Older Americans

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older people in the United States, and this health threat is likely to grow since 10,000 Americans now reach age 65 every day, a new federal report shows. Every second of every day, an older American falls. As falls increase, so do health care costs. In the report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged doctors to help prevent falls among this high-risk group. "Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. "Health care providers can make fall prevention a routine part of care in their practice, and older adults can take steps to protect themselves." Older Americans had 29 million falls in 2014, causing 7 million injuries. Falls cost Medicare an estimated $31 billion a year, the CDC report ... Read more

Related support groups: Fracture, bone, Prevention of Falls, Prevention of Fractures, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Risks Spike If Young Athletes Specialize Too Soon

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – Young athletes who specialize in one sport are at added risk of stress, burnout and overuse injuries, says a leading group of U.S. pediatricians. In contrast, kids who play several sports are more likely to stay active for the rest of their lives and meet their athletic goals, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The analysis of youth sports revealed dramatic changes over the past 40 years. "More kids are participating in adult-led organized sports today, and sometimes the goals of the parents and coaches may be different than the young athletes," said lead author Dr. Joel Brenner, past chairman of the academy's Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness. "Some are aiming for college scholarships or a professional athletic career, but those opportunities are rare. Children who play multiple sports, who diversify their play, are more ... Read more

Related support groups: Fracture, bone, Prevention of Falls

Health Tip: Help Prevent Falls

Posted 19 Jul 2016 by

-- Falling and potentially hurting yourself isn't a foregone part of getting older. To help prevent falls, the American Academy of Family Physicians suggests: Keep your home well lit, and install night lights throughout. Keep rugs securely fastened, or use a backing that prevents skidding. Make sure shoes have sturdy, nonskid soles. Don't leave electrical cords in areas where you walk. Install hand rails in the bathroom at the toilet and in the shower. Make sure stairways have railings on both sides. Read more

Related support groups: Osteoporosis, Fracture, bone, Osteomalacia, Prevention of Falls, Prevention of Fractures

How Pregnancy Can Trip You Up

Posted 3 Jul 2016 by

FRIDAY, July 1, 2016 – A pregnancy "waddle" really does increase a woman's risk for falls, a new study reveals. The baby bump changes the way women walk and perform everyday activities, such as rising from a chair or turning around while walking, said researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan. This may help explain why pregnant women are as likely to fall as women who are 70 years old, the researchers said. For their study, the researchers used a three-dimensional video recording system, called 3D motion capture, to assess the way pregnant women walk. "Biomechanics studies like ours of how humans move are valuable for many things, like making our built environments safer or designing mobility skills," said Koichi Shinkoda in a university news release. He is a professor in the Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences. Shinkoda's team used the 3D recording system – which ... Read more

Related support groups: Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Prevention of Falls

Bifocals Might Trip You Up

Posted 9 Jun 2016 by

THURSDAY, June 9, 2016 – Wearing bifocals or progressive lenses may cause visual blurring. And that puts older people at risk of making a misstep and falling, researchers say. The effects of blurry vision on stepping accuracy were greatest when study participants were looking ahead of where they were stepping, the findings showed. The results serve as a reminder to watch your step, the researchers said. Beyond that, "our findings ... support the benefits of gaze training to maintain gaze position on stepping locations when undertaking precision stepping tasks," wrote Alex Black and colleagues at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Black suggested that this could improve stepping accuracy and minimize the risk of slips and trips. For the study, the researchers asked 19 older adults, average age 72, to do a series of "precision stepping tasks" while wearing their normal ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Prevention of Falls, Myopia

Disabling Falls Don't Have to Happen

Posted 13 May 2016 by

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – Seniors are at high risk for falls, but there are ways to reduce that risk, experts say. One-third of Americans aged 65 and older fall each year. And, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal and fatal injuries among older Americans, according to the American Trauma Society. Each year, more than 2.5 million fall-related injuries are treated at U.S. emergency departments, the trauma society says. These falls result in more than 734,000 hospitalizations and more than 21,700 deaths. It's crucial for seniors to get medical care after a fall, said Dr. James Vosswinkel, chief of trauma, emergency surgery and surgical critical care at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York. "Older adults who suffer a serious fall have much better chances of survival and overall better health outcomes if they are treated at a trauma center where specialized surgeons are available," ... Read more

Related support groups: Fracture, bone, Compression Fracture of Vertebral Column, Prevention of Falls, Prevention of Fractures

Poor Vision and Dangerous Falls Plague Many U.S. Seniors

Posted 5 May 2016 by

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – Millions of American seniors have severe vision impairment, and with it comes the risk of a fall that could lead to disability, a new report finds. About 2.8 million seniors are thought to have severe vision impairment – defined as either blindness or difficulty seeing, even with eyeglasses, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1.3 million of these older, vision-challenged Americans fell at least once in 2014, the new CDC report said. Experts say the link between vision and balance is crucial, especially as people age. Falls "represent a major source of disability and can lead to prolonged recoveries and lengthy stays in hospitals and long-term care facilities," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He said that hip and leg or arm fractures, as well as wounds that ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Falls, Visual Defect/Disturbance

Health Tip: Wishing for Better Balance?

Posted 5 May 2016 by

-- If you're not as steady on your feet as you once were, a number of medical conditions may be responsible. Here are possible reasons for poor balance, courtesy of Harvard Medical School: Having a central nervous system disorder, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Having an inner ear condition that causes dizziness, such as Meniere's disease. Having vision problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. Having weakened muscles, notably those of the back, thigh or abdomen. Having nerve damage in the feet or legs. Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Meniere's Disease, Parkinsonian Tremor, Spasticity, Parkinsonism, Lower Limb Spasticity, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Prevention of Falls

Health Problems Can Plague Seniors After Cancer Surgery

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 – After cancer surgery, certain older patients face an increased risk for injuries and problems that can keep them in a hospital longer and slow their recovery, new research reveals. The researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, reviewed data from more than 939,000 people, aged 55 or older. All had undergone major cancer surgery in the United States between 2009 and 2011. More than 9 percent of these patients had age-related injuries and health issues, such as falls, broken bones, dehydration, bed sores, failure to thrive and delirium. All of these problems can lead to longer hospital stays, higher health care costs and even premature death, the study authors said. These health issues can occur in addition to postsurgery complications. The study found that these problems were most likely to occur in patients aged 75 and older, and in people ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Weight Loss/Failure to Thrive, Prevention of Falls

Weakened Knees a Big Cause of Falls for Older People: Study

Posted 12 Feb 2016 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 – A new study supports what many American seniors may already know: that knee "instability" boosts their odds for a dangerous fall. "Falls, injury from falls and poor balance confidence are extremely common and debilitating problems in older people," said study author Michael Nevitt, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. "The present study has demonstrated for the first time that knee instability and knee buckling are important causes of these problems in the very large segment of the older population suffering from knee pain," Nevitt added. Therefore, doctors should make treating knee instability a priority among older patients, the researchers said. Often triggered by weak muscles and poor balance, knee buckling is common among older people and those with knee osteoarthritis, the researchers explained. ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Falls

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