New study finds that fear of falls can lead to falls

Jasmine Phu

August 20, 2010

A new study that examined 500 people, aged 70 to 90, has concluded that the anxiety that some seniors have about falling can actually lead to a fall, regardless of the actual, physical risk, according to

Stephen Lord, the senior principal research fellow of the project, informed the news source that, while most older participants could accurately assess their risk for a fall, a third of these seniors underestimated or overestimated the actual risk.

The anxious seniors had low risks, but viewed them as high. Researchers claimed that this was at least partially due to neurotic personality traits, depression and poor physical coordination or health.

In the other group, there was more physical activity, optimism and community participation. Their perception of a low fall risk helped protect them from an actual fall.

This seems to be especially useful information for those who are looking to participate in fall prevention programs. The study determined that overconfidence wouldn’t raise a senior’s risk of falling – in fact, the findings indicate that the opposite may actually occur.

Regardless of a senior’s risk of falling, it’s can be very beneficial to be prepared for a medical situation. By using a senior alert system, older adults can have a way to immediately contact the proper authorities in case of an emergency.

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