New Studies Look at Ways to Prevent Fall Accidents in Elderly
Elderly persons aged 65 or above have a much higher risk of suffering slip and fall accidents. They are also more likely to suffer debilitating long term injuries from these falls that can severely impact their quality of life. In fact, about 20 percent of elderly persons who suffer a hip fracture after a fall accident, die within 12 months of the fracture.
With alarming statistics like these, it has always been a source of concern to Atlanta slip and fall accident lawyers that little research is done to find out why these people are at risk for such falls. However, as the New York Times says, new research involving the use of wireless sensors placed in elderly persons’ homes, are providing experts clues to understand what kind of conditions can increase the risk of falls, helping develop preventative measures that can minimize the risk of falls.
The sensors are placed in carpets and clothing, and monitor the person’s walking patterns and general activity. This allows the researchers to study specific walking behaviors, like the length of the stride and body sway of the person to understand what factors increase the risk of a fall. When researchers are able to understand the factors that increase the person’s risk of a slip and fall accident, it becomes easier to develop preventative measures that can reduce the risk of a fall.
For instance, if a person is on medication that increases the frequency of urination, he may be at a much higher risk of a fall when he walks to the bathroom several times in the night. However, when he is taken off the medication, or the dosage is lowered, then it can change his urination frequency, thereby minimizing the need to walk to the bathroom at night, and lowering the risk of falls.
The studies show very promising results that could revolutionize the way we prevent geriatric fall accidents. Until now, there has been very little solid research into the prevention of falls in the elderly, and these new studies promise to shine a different light on fall prevention.