Photo by Neil Moralee via Flickr.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to serious long-term health effects — ranging from heart problems to ongoing brain fog. Now, we can add decreased mobility and increased fall risk among older adults, according to a new poll.
The National Poll on Healthy Aging uncovered some worrying indicators: 25% of older adults experienced a fall between the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and January 2021, when the poll was conducted. Forty percent of those who experienced a fall had more than one fall during this period. The CDC cites falls as the leading cause of injury and death among those 65 and older. We know that reduced physical conditioning and fear of falling may increase future fall risk and reduce independence. Continue reading
Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in older adults. Those with cognitive impairment are two to three times more likely to fall than those who are cognitively intact. We also know that certain medications can increase the risk of falls in older adults. According to researchers at Texas A&M University, those with dementia who regularly took pain medication and those with probable dementia who took pain medication two or more days a week in the prior month were more likely to fall compared to those without dementia, according to the researchers. Continue reading
Health reporters provided rich context – and a dose of skepticism – around Apple’s introduction of the Apple Watch Series 4, which included an electrocardiogram (ECG) app and fall detection capabilities.
In case you missed it, the big news was that Apple received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for its electrical heart rate sensor that can take an ECG using a new enabled app. The app can detect signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke, blood clots and other heart complications. Continue reading
Anyone who has helped an ailing loved one knows that the job of a caregiver is not easy. When cognitive decline is part of the mix, the job becomes even more challenging.
Researchers and occupational therapy students at the University of Buffalo (UB) are developing a model to help ease some of the burdens on those caring for frail elders with dementia. They are partnering with regional PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) programs to meet the unique needs of older caregiving spouses. Continue reading
Comedians Chevy Chase and Dick Van Dyke are famous for their pratfalls. Their younger selves could take a tumble and easily bounce back up, no harm done. But, at ages 73 and 91 respectively, falls are no laughing matter.
The consequences of a serious fall can be devastating – from broken bones to immobility to death. In November, iconic singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, 82, died from what his manager said were the aftereffects of a fall. Continue reading