According to researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, fall prevention can be accomplished through exercise. Whether alone or as an adjunct to other intervention methods, exercise has been suggested as the most effective way to prevent falls among the elderly.
Drs. Sharon Straus and Andrea Tricco came to this conclusion after analyzing 54 randomized clinical trials of 39 fall-prevention interventions. They found that exercise by itself can reduce the likelihood of injurious falls among those above 65 by as much as 12 percent. Combining exercise with vision assessments and/or treatments, as well as assessments and modifications of a person’s living environment, can increase this number to 23 percent. Exercise with vision assessments and/or treatments was noted for being the most effective preventive strategy, as it can decrease the risk of falls by as much as 38 percent.
Tricco stated that the choice of fall-prevention intervention can be affected by the preferences and values of the patients and their caregivers. As an example, Tricco cited an instance wherein the chances of falling actually increased due to the risk of immobility being greater in older adults. However, there are instances wherein encouraging elderly patients to become more mobile as their strength grows would actually put them in harm’s way.
Tricco added: “Falls have a huge impact on the wellness of our older population and, given the aging of the population worldwide, the incidence of falls continues to rise.”
Here are some of the best exercises for the elderly …
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