Author in the Room: The Patient Who Falls

April 2010 Author in the Room® Teleconference
 
Author: Mary Tinetti, MD
 
 
Summary Points:
  • Falls are common health events that cause discomfort and disability for older adults and stress for caregivers. Previous falls; strength, gait and balance impairments; and medications are the strongest risk factors for falling.
  • The most effective strategy for reducing the rate of falling in community-living older adults may be intervening on multiple risk factors including strengthening and balance exercises through physical therapy, medication reduction, environmental modifications to reduce fall hazards, cataract surgery. Vitamin D has strong evidence of benefit for preventing fractures among older men at risk and probably of preventing falls in all at risk older adults.
  • While challenges and barriers exist, fall prevention strategies can be incorporated into clinical practice.
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