A multifactorial fall-risk assessment including a fall history, physical exam, gait and balance evaluation, and environmental assessment is recommended for all older adults who have fallen or have a problem with gait or balance, according to Dr. Sara Bradley, assistant professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City.
Here’s what we know.
Get involved in a multiple-component exercise programs
Participate in tai chi.
See your doctor to rule out vitamin D deficiency and take supplementation if needed.
See your doctor to reassess your need for psychotropic medications.
Early cataract surgery has all been shown to reduce fall rates.
Multifactorial evaluations can also be beneficial in preventing falls.
Management of orthostasis (standing upright)
The bottom line?
The good news is that there are lots of viable options to reduce the risk of falls, and potentially broken hips, that lead to the downward slide toward loss of independence.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.