Friday, March 27, 2015

Starting a Conversation between Providers and Patients about Older Adult Fall Prevention

CDC has introduced an exciting new video. It seeks to help start a conversation between health care providers and their patients 65 and older about ways to prevent falls. The video is part of the CDC/Medscape Clinical Commentary series that reaches thousands of health care providers, from a variety of specialties, nationwide.

Titled, “Are You Asking Your Older Patients the Right Questions?”, the video highlights 3 questions that health care providers can integrate into routine office visits with patients 65 and older:
  • Have you fallen in the past year?
  • Do you feel unsteady when standing or walking?
  • Do you worry about falling?

Using the tools in CDC’s STEADI initiative, the video then guides health care providers on screening, assessments, and proven interventions, such as:
  • Reviewing medications to ensure appropriate geriatric doses and reducing fall risk-increasing drugs; and
  • Recommending Vitamin D supplements.

You can watch the video at:
(Free Medscape login in required to access the video.)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The next Older Adult Falls Prevention Journal Club meeting is March 24, 2015 from 11 am to Noon. 
Please join us for a review of an article about how to reach diverse populations with an evidence-based Tai Chi program. The results of this article can help us extend our reach in our communities. A copy of the article and details on how to join the Journal Club are available on the Journal Club tab. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This Valentine’s Day, ask your loved ones to go STEADY

Caregiving is the ultimate expression of love and devotion, so for this Valentine's Day, the STEADY U Ohio initiative encourages all Ohioans to learn what you can do to help an older loved one avoid a life-altering fall. One in three older adults will fall this year – don’t let someone you care about become part of that statistic.

“One of the best gifts you can give an older loved one is the peace of mind that falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented,” said Bonnie K. Burman, Sc. D., director of the Ohio Department of Aging, which leads the STEADY U initiative. “Older adults may not want to talk about falling because they see it as a threat to their independence. By bringing the subject up persistently but respectfully, and showing that you care, you can help remove some of their anxiety around the topic and help them reduce their risk.”
  • Don’t let your loved one become afraid of falling. People who fall (or who nearly fall) can develop a fear of falling and change their behavior in ways that may actually increase their chances of falling again.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tai chi improves symptoms of Parkinson's disease

From:  CBS News

Tai chi, a type of exercise that guides the body through gentle, flowing poses, may help some of the worst physical problems of Parkinson's disease, a new study shows.

If further studies confirm the findings, experts say it appears that tai chi might be an effective therapy for improving a person's ability to walk, move steadily, and balance. Tai chi may also reduce the chances of a fall.

"The results from this study are quite impressive," says Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA, a neurologist and associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

"It's always difficult to compare results across studies, but the magnitude of the impact that they had is larger, in some cases, than what is seen with medications in Parkinson's," says Dorsey, who also directs the Movement Disorders Center and Neurology Telemedicine at Johns Hopkins. He was not involved in the research.

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Study Finds Large Cost Savings for Fall Prevention Programs: Injury Center News

A new CDC study published in the Journal of Safety Research found that three evidence-based fall programs are proven to be feasible, effective, save costs, and provide a positive return on investment for society.

The analysis found that the cost of implementing the following community-based fall prevention programs is far less costly than the potential medical costs needed to care for someone injured from a fall:
  • Tai chi: Moving for Better Balance
  • Stepping On
  • The Otago Exercise Program

These research findings can help community organizations and policymakers identify and use programs that can save lives and costs.

CDC and Older Adult Fall Prevention

In our rapidly aging population, falls are a fast-growing and costly public health problem. CDC works to help keep older adults safe from falls by:
Supporting partners with online resources and technical assistance; and
Providing health care providers with information and screening tools to help identify older adults at risk of falling.

Read the Study

Learn More

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Medical Minute: Seniors Often Keep Falls a Secret

From:  Newswise

Maintaining an independent lifestyle is so important for some people as they age that they keep it a secret that they've experienced a fall.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that millions of adults 65 and older suffer from falls each year. Fewer than half tell their physician.

According to Dr. Nicole Osevala, an internal medicine specialist at Penn State Hershey, these adults may be concerned that a fall signals they're not safe living on their own anymore.

"They're worried about other people becoming concerned about safety issues at home and the potential that they may have to move from their home to assisted living or a nursing home," she says.

Additionally, Osevala believes that older patients do not want others to worry about them.

"If they fall and don't have a serious injury, they don't want to bother their kids or loved ones," she says.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Upcoming instructor training
for an evidence-based program
 in older adult falls prevention. 

Tai Chi:Moving for Better Balance instructor training 
March 21-22, 2015 at Duncan Family YMCA
 6350 Eldridge St, Arvada, CO. 
Flyer with details about the training class.
Registration is now open for the class. Please contact Sallie Thoreson at 970-248-7161 or with any questions.