Researchers receive grant for fall prevention study


August 4, 2010

Falls are a leading cause of death and injury in adults and, as the population grows older, scientists and organizations are looking into ways that will help reduce the risk of these incidents.

At Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, two researchers were recently awarded $359,975 to conduct studies based on the subject,with the overarching aim of evaluating falls from a neuromechanical perspective.

The researchers, S. Lee Hong and David M. Koceja, will be specifically examining which factors lead to a higher occurrence of these accidents, with a focus on spinal cord function and the way that it impacts balance.

Hong will research the changes in movement behavior over time, including learning and development during the aging process, while Koceja will study the way that the spine affects one’s sense of balance and the muscles involved.

The hope seems to be that this research will yield information that is critical to understanding what makes a person at risk for falls and how to take the appropriate, preventative measures.

An older person who is living alone can also be at a high risk for a similar incident. It’s best to provide older adults who are living independently with a senior alarm system, which will ensure that they have a way to call for help in case of an emergency.