Guideline for the Prevention of Falls in Older Persons

by the American Geriatrics Society, British Geriatrics Society, and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Panel on Falls Prevention. Geared primarily to health care professionals, this medical paper is also instructive for family caregivers. It recommends regular assessment of older persons for their history and risks of falling, both by the caregiver and by the person’s doctor. For older persons living at home, specific recommendations include: (i) gait training and advice on the appropriate use of assistive devices, (ii) review and modification of medication, especially psychotropic medication, (iii) exercise programs, with balance training as one of the components, (iv) treatment of postural hypotension, (v) modification of environmental hazards, and (vi) treatment of cardiovascular disorders, including cardiac arrhythmias. Recommendations for assisted living and long-term care settings are also included.

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