Every second elderly person with dementia suffers falls

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Falls cause millions of injuries in older adults every year, and the risk is even higher in those with dementia.

A new study by researchers at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has examined fall risk factors in older adults in residential settings and provided valuable insights into fall risk screening and prevention strategies.

The study and its results

The study, led by Safiyyah Okoye, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Drexel, and Jennifer L. Wolff, Ph.D., a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was recently published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

It examined potential fall risk factors, including environmental factors, in older adults in the United States, both with and without dementia.

According to 2015 and 2016 data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), nearly half (45.5%) of older adults with dementia experienced one or more falls in 2016, compared with less than a third (30, 9%) of older adults without dementia.

In older adults with dementia, a history of falls, visual disturbances, and living with others were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of falling.

In people without dementia, financial difficulties, a history of falls, fear of falling, poor lower extremity performance, depressive symptoms, and housing deterioration were strongly associated with an increased risk of falls.

Implications of the Results

The researchers suggest that people with dementia should be screened for a history of falls and visual impairment, known risk factors for falls.

If these are present, further evaluation and treatment should be done, including examining the person’s feet and footwear, and assessing their surroundings and their ability to perform day-to-day activities.

Interestingly, older people with dementia who lived with others had a higher risk of falling than those living alone, highlighting the need for caregiver support and education in fall prevention programs.

The need for tailored fall prevention interventions

The results of the study underscore the need to understand and address the risk of falls in older people with dementia.

Okoye says, “To reduce the high fall rates in older adults with dementia, additional tailored fall risk screening and fall prevention interventions should be developed and tested.”

This research emphasizes that fall risk is multidimensional and influenced by various factors, including the individual’s environmental context.

The findings serve as a call to action for clinicians, researchers and policymakers to pay more attention to fall risk factors in older people with dementia.

If you care about dementia, please read studies about it new hidden cause of dementia, And These drugs are linked to post-COVID dementia in the elderly.

Further information on the subject of health can be found in current studies plant nutrients that might help lower high blood pressure, And These antioxidants could help reduce the risk of dementia.

The study was published In Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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