Predicting and reducing risks of falling

Jasmine Phu

July 6, 2011

Falling is a major concern for elderly individuals, as one in every three people over the age of 65 falls each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 20 to 30 percent of older adults who fall will suffer from moderate to severe injuries, such as bone fractures or head trauma. Senior alert systems can assist elderly individuals if they fall and hurt themselves by sending out medical alerts to emergency response teams, who can get help if the individual is alone and cannot reach a phone.

Australian scientists are currently developing sensor technology that will help predict the likelihood of a fall for an individual. The device is worn by an elderly adult so it can monitor his or her daily activities. The researchers say that, during tests, people who had a greater risk of falling were those who also showed less stability during testing exercises.

Stability and balance can be attributed to many things, and as people age these abilities often diminish. The Delaware News Journal states that balance is a major contributor to falling for elderly individuals, and older adults who have poor balance can talk to their doctors about ways to lower the risks of falling.

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