Navigation Links
Falls and follow-ups: Medical attention following a fall critical to senior health
Date:5/13/2010

Falling down is hazardous to a senior citizen's health, yet fewer than half of all seniors see a doctor after a fall. And those who don't seek medical attention are far less likely to engage in any of the six widely recommended activities such as a review of their medications or getting a cane or walker that might prevent repeated falls, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

In the study, researchers, using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey, found that even though 91 percent of California seniors reported seeing a doctor in the past year, a fall was rarely the reason for the visit. In fact, less than half (46.6 percent) of seniors who had fallen more than once reported a fall as the reason for a doctor's appointment.

Those who did not seek medical help were less likely to engage in activities that might prevent future falls only about 31 percent did two or more follow-up activities to prevent falls. In contrast, 73 percent of seniors who did seek medical care after a fall engaged in two or more follow-up activities.

"Following up with a doctor after a fall is critical to senior health," said UCLA Center for Health Policy Research associate director Steven P. Wallace, lead author of the policy brief. "The safeguards we discuss are some of the best ways of preventing additional falls and the disastrous health consequences associated with falls."

Falls among the elderly are a widespread problem. More than half a million older Californians (565,000) fell more than once in 2007 about 100,000 more than reported multiple falls in 2003, according to the California Department of Public Health and the Office of Statewide Planning and Development.

Falls are directly linked to declining health among older Americans: More than 1,400 California seniors died due to injuries from falls in 2007, and approximately 67,000 more were hospitalized.

National guidelines issued by the American Geriatrics Society and other organizations recommend the following activities for reducing the risk of falling among older adults with a history of falls: (1) an evaluation by a health professional with counseling on how to reduce falls, (2) a review of medications, (3) home modifications, (4) exercise and/or (5) physical therapy, and (6) using a cane or walker if needed.

The study's authors recommended a number of ways to encourage seniors and health care providers alike to prevent multiple falls, including:

  • Train first responders

The authors cite a Nevada County, Calif. program that provided emergency medical technicians and paramedics with an assessment and referral form for seniors who call 9-1-1 when they fall but decline to be taken to the emergency room.

  • Educate/incentivize health providers

Boost efforts to increase awareness among health care professionals of relatively new billing codes that help track a patient at risk of falls (ICD-9 diagnosis code V15.88 and CPT-II treatment code 1100F). Specifically, the codes are used when a patient has more than two falls in a year or one fall with injuries. In addition, physicians who participate in Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative can earn a 1.5 percent quality-of-care bonus if they report specified quality measures that include falls screening.

  • Involve the community

Fostering broad-based community coalitions is the most effective way to raise awareness of the problem of senior falls and to advocate for policies to reduce the risk of falls. Supporting and expanding these efforts can reduce the rates of falls among seniors, improving the quality of life of older adults in California while reducing medical care costs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Prevention Program Spares Seniors More Falls
2. Child Abuse Head Injuries Rise as Economy Falls
3. Man Falls to His Death From Apartment Terrace in New York, Personal Injury Lawyers Comment
4. Soccer reduces risk of falls and bone fractures
5. Medical Nurse Training, Inc and SaferFalls.com Announce New Products/Technologies to Save Lives in Healthcare Facilities and for Senior Home Care.
6. Mount Sinai Medical Center and ENT & Allergy Associates, LLP Create First-Of-Its-Kind Physician Portal
7. New Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software, MxChart™, Launched by Medical Transcription Service Provider, MxSecure
8. Meharry Medical College President Testifies Before the U.S. House of Representatives
9. $18.5 Million New Jersey Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Verdict Due To Cerebral Palsy Caused By A Delayed C-Section
10. Miami's Medical Equipment Solutions Now Offers Electric Power Wheelchair
11. Capture Medical Billing Launches Facebook Fan Page to Help Improve Medical Billing Issues
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Parker at Stonegate, an assisted living residence ... caregivers, volunteers, thought leaders, researchers, educators and partners leading the way in services ... refresh the carpeting with the goal of maintaining the same precise colors and ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... More than 20,000 pairs of ... Congo (DRC) thanks to an ambitious venture that conjoined the passions of an NBA ... support of the Liberty community. These shoes will save lives from the rampant infections ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... edition of “Vision & Hearing,” advocating for active, healthy lifestyles and highlighting the ... available for individuals with hearing impairments and shares the latest innovations in hearing ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Hernandez Insurance Agencies, a northern Virginia firm ... DC region, is inaugurating a “New Leash On Life” charity initiative in conjunction ... to be companions for veterans in need. , The Semper K9 organization works ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... The Brian Gifford Agency, an ... is campaigning in support of Campagna Academy in a charity drive to provide for ... Boys’ Town of Indiana,” Campagna Academy is a nonprofit organization that has offered critical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... Pharmaceuticals Inc., the creator of the drug Truveta for the ... an IPO. The United States spends ... a prescription epilepsy drug being $450.00-$1200.00 for a one month supply. ... AXIUM PHARMACEUTICALS, INC ... figure is the fact that Americans spent $42 billion on anxiety medications ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... Aug. 10, 2017  Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN), acquired the ... Lakewood, Colorado . The reputable clinic will continue ... PT, DPT with his staff of four clinicians. Lipkin received ... and brings over 10 years of experience with a strong ... Belmar PT marks the 10th PRN clinic in and around the ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... , Aug. 7, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... Joel Saban as president, effective Aug. 7, 2017. ... has decided to pursue other interests and will serve as ... tenure, Paul has served us in multiple leadership roles since ... in Jun. 2015 and has provided decisive, strategic leadership which ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: