Fall Prevention in the Elderly - Clinical Advisor

Fall Prevention in the Elderly

Slideshow

  • All older adults who are at risk of falling should be offered an exercise program incorporating balance, gait, and strength training, such as Tai Chi or physical therapy. Flexibility and endurance training should also be offered, but not as sole components of the program.

    Tai Chi_0313 Slideshow

    All older adults who are at risk of falling should be offered an exercise program incorporating balance, gait, and strength training, such as Tai Chi or physical therapy. Flexibility and endurance training should also be offered, but not as sole components of the program.

  • Exercise may be performed in groups or as individual exercises, as both are effective in preventing falls (B).

    Older woman swimming_0313 Slideshow

    Exercise may be performed in groups or as individual exercises, as both are effective in preventing falls (B).

  • Vitamin D supplements of at least 800 IU per day should be provided to older persons with proven vitamin D deficiency (A).

    Vitamin D_0313 Slideshow

    Vitamin D supplements of at least 800 IU per day should be provided to older persons with proven vitamin D deficiency (A).

  • Home environment assessment and intervention carried out by a health care professional should be included in a multifactorial assessment and intervention, and should mitigate identified hazards to promote the safe performance of daily activities.

    Home assessment_0313 Slideshow

    Home environment assessment and intervention carried out by a health care professional should be included in a multifactorial assessment and intervention, and should mitigate identified hazards to promote the safe performance of daily activities.

  • Psychoactive medications (hypnotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants) and antipsychotics (including new antidepressants or antipsychotics) should be minimized or withdrawn, with appropriate tapering if indicated. A reduction in the total number of overall medications or dose of individual medications should be pursued (B).

    Medications_0313 Slideshow

    Psychoactive medications (hypnotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants) and antipsychotics (including new antidepressants or antipsychotics) should be minimized or withdrawn, with appropriate tapering if indicated. A reduction in the total number of overall medications or dose of individual medications should be pursued (B).

  • In older women in whom cataract surgery is indicated, surgery should be expedited as it reduces the risk of falling (B).

    Cataract Exam_0313 Slideshow

    In older women in whom cataract surgery is indicated, surgery should be expedited as it reduces the risk of falling (B).

  • Assessment and treatment of postural hypotension should be included as components of multifactorial interventions to prevent falls in older persons (B).

    Hypotension_0313 Slideshow

    Assessment and treatment of postural hypotension should be included as components of multifactorial interventions to prevent falls in older persons (B).

  • Dual chamber cardiac pacing should be considered for older persons with cardioinhibitory carotid sinus hypersensitivity who experience unexplained recurrent falls (B).

    Pacemaker_0313 Slideshow

    Dual chamber cardiac pacing should be considered for older persons with cardioinhibitory carotid sinus hypersensitivity who experience unexplained recurrent falls (B).

Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, according to the CDC. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head injuries, and can increase the risk of early death.

This slideshow contains A and B grade recommendations from the American Geriatrics Society to prevent falls in the elderly.

An A grade indicates that good evidence backs up the utility of the intervention in improving health outcomes and that the benefits outweigh harms, whereas a B grade indicates, the recommendation is based on fair evidence.

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