Older adults falling down at home and elsewhere is a growing problem in the United States. About 30% of older people fall in a year.
An update of a 2009 Cochrane Review of the effectiveness of a falls reduction programs found that exercise and home safety interventions prevent falls in older adults.
The investigators assessed 159 randomized trials of fall prevention interventions with nearly 80,000 participants aged 60 and older.
Among the other interventions that helped reduce the rate of falls or risk for falls:
- Multifactorial interventions, including individualized risk assessment
- Tai chi
- Pacemakers, in patients with carotid sinus hypersensitivity
- First eye cataract surgery in women
- Gradual withdrawal of psychotropic drugs
- Changes in prescribing behavior by primary care physicians
- An anti-slip shoe device in icy conditions
Some of the interventions that did not have an effect include:
- Vitamin D supplementation in people with normal vitamin D levels
- Patient education alone
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy