Falls are among the biggest threats to healthy aging facing older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one-third of seniors experience a fall each year, and these accidents are the leading cause of injury-related death among the over-65 population. Two organizations recently teamed up to conduct a major study to help reduce the number of falls seniors experience on a yearly basis.
The study, which is being conducted by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the National Institute on Aging, is expected to include older patients, healthcare professionals and family caregivers in an effort to determine a comprehensive approach to fall prevention. Both organizations believe their combined efforts can yield significant results.
"Injuries from falls are a major cause of loss of independence for older people. This is a significant public health problem," said NIA director Dr. Richard J. Hodes. "The partnership with PCORI brings the clinical and patient communities together with experts in biomedical research, which will enable us to develop and support a large clinical trial with outcomes that can be translated and implemented in a real-world setting."
Although it may be a while until the results of the study are released, there are steps seniors can take now to prevent falls. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise, removing tripping hazards and discussing medication with doctors can all help reduce the risk of falling.