Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Report says exercise and vitamin D can prevent falls among the elderly

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Falls are the number one cause of injury-related deaths among people 65 and over, according to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (See our recent post “Big risks from small falls“.) A medical alert system is important to summon help quickly in the event of a fall and mitigate complications. However, its also important to take steps to prevent falls from happening in the first place. That’s why we frequently post items on our blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds about how we can improve our health and living environment to reduce the risk of falling.

This month, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts mandated by Congress, sorted through hundreds of articles and thousands of abstracts help guide the advice that primary care practitioners give to their patients. Based on 16 studies that the task force analyzed, exercise can reduce the risk of falling by 13% and 9 studies provided evidence that vitamin D supplementation can reduce risk 17%.

The report is just as interesting for what it found did not reduce risk. Neither vision correction nor education alone were associated with reducing the risk of falling. One study in Australia actually found an increase in the proportion of fallers among those who got vision correction. According to the researchers, this may be because frail older adults became more active because of their improved vision, thus increasing their risk of falling.

(Photo by TooFarNorth via flickr)

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MetLife releases valuable free aging-in-place assessment

Friday, November 19th, 2010

MetLife Aging in Place WorkbookMetLife, the insurance giant, has a very helpful new downloadable workbook that helps seniors and their caregivers assess what types of adjustments and assistance are needed so that seniors can age in place in their own homes. The company’s Aging in Place Workbook covers several important areas including:

  • Care needs
  • Home safety as a care setting
  • Home modifications considerations
  • Developing a care plan
  • Deciding if your home is a suitable care setting
  • Alternative care settings
  • Making necessary adjustments

The document discusses important assistive technologies including medical alert systems (also known as Personal Emergency Response Systems):

“If you live alone or are alone much of the time you may want to think about a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) so that you can call for help in the event of an emergency.”

The workbook is available now on MetLife’s Mature Market Institute web site.

Seniors volunteer to help nursing students

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

We like the idea of this program at Carroll College in Helena, Montana where nursing students are learning how to interact with patients by working with seniors in the community. The students meet with their “Healthy Partners” several times to check eye and respiratory health and assess their homes to make sure that there are no tripping hazards.

Original story on KFBB.tv web site.