Seniors and Falls

The CDC is making major strides in helping the medical profession address a serious issue for Seniors: Falls.

Do you fall because your hip breaks or does your hip break because you fall?

SteadiAccording to the New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center, both can happen but falls probably account for the majority of fractures as programs to help to minimize the risk of falls and the use of hip protectors to cushion the hip in high risk patients can reduce (but not completely prevent) hip fractures.

Falls are not an inevitable part of aging. There are specific things that you, as their health care provider, can do to reduce their chances of falling. STEADI's tools and educational materials will help you to:

  • Identify patients at low, moderate, and high risk for a fall;
  • Identify modifiable risk factors; and
  • Offer effective interventions.

3 Questions That Can Help Protect Older Adults from Falls

New STEADI Older Adult Fall Prevention Online Training for Providers

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  • Continuing Education available for this free interactive course.
  • Make fall prevention part of your clinical practice and learn to screen patients 65+ for falls, identify risk factors, and offer interventions.
  • Log in or create an account on CDC TRAIN, then search for "STEADI".

New funding comes from the CDC for advancement in these areas...  Research to Advance Primary Care-Pharmacy Linkage for Medication Review to Reduce Older Adult Falls

Research Funding Opportunity Announcement

Research to Advance Primary Care-Pharmacy Linkage for Medication Review to Reduce Older Adult Falls (RFA-CE-16-002)

CDC’s Injury Center intends to commit approximately $1,050,000 over a 3-year project period with a maximum of $350,000 per year. This funding will support one application to research how community pharmacists can work with their primary care providers on medication management to increase the potential health impact of fall prevention efforts. Promising practices identified by this research could be reproduced and integrated into more comprehensive fall risk assessment and management strategies.

The purpose of this research is to investigate sustainable and reproducible models that would link community pharmacists to primary care providers, enhancing medication review and management to reduce the risk of falls in older adults. This research should also examine potential health benefits, implementation costs, and sustainability of the proposed pharmacy-primary care linkages.

Important Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due: 01/15/2016
  • Application Due: 02/15/2016

Learn More

The funding opportunity announcement can be found at http://www.grants.gov/


 

A hip fracture is a dreaded injury for most older adults. It is extremely common; there are over 300,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures each year. It is estimated that 1 out of every 7 post menopausal Caucasian women will have a hip fracture during their lifetime. There are some steps you can take to decrease your risk of breaking your hip.

Home Safety. Falls are a common cause of fractures. Look around your home. Secure loose area rugs. Install grab bars in the bathrooms and showers. Make sure stairs are well lit and do not leave objects on stairs. Make sure slippery driveways and stairs are salted in the winter, and stay indoors if the weather is bad. Flashlights should be located near your bedroom in case of power outages at night. Keep the floor clear of clutter. Pets, although loving companions, are frequently implicated in falls, especially small dogs and cats. Do not rush. Many people who fall were in a hurry! Do not be too proud to use a cane or walker if you need one.

Heath and Wellness. Have your vision checked yearly. Get new glasses if you need them. Review your list of medications yearly with your medical doctor. Some medications can have side effects or interact with other drugs causing dizziness or fatigue. Low blood pressure or abnormal heart rhythms may also contribute to falls. An undiagnosed urinary tract infection may result in confusion and a fall. Excessive use of alcohol also contributes to falls. Stop smoking. Nicotine decreases bone density and contributes to the development of osteoporosis.

Exercise. As you age, muscle mass decreases causing weakness and poor balance. A regular exercise program incorporating strength training and balance exercises can help to prevent falls. Weight bearing exercise such as walking can maintain and improve bone density. Tai Chi exercises have been shown to be very beneficial in improving balance. A structured physical therapy program can help you improve your strength, balance, and gait.

Osteoporosis Treatment and Prevention. There are many things you can do to prevent osteoporosis. Adequate levels of calcium and Vitamin D are important in building and maintaining bone mass. Bone density can be quantified with a DEXA scan. If you have osteoporosis you should discuss treatment options with your medical doctor.

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