Friday, February 11, 2011

Stemming Falls in the Elderly - South Florida

As we age, our risk of falling increases. Our feet may catch on a well-worn rug or we may miss a step going downstairs to the kitchen at night. We lose balance, strength and agility; medications may make us drowsy; or we may become dizzy after getting up from a chair as our blood pressure plummets.

No one has done more to highlight the medical significance of this issue than Dr. Mary Tinetti of Yale University. The recipient of a 2009 MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, Tinetti has spent almost two decades exploring why seniors fall. Most recently, she co-chaired a committee of American and British experts that helped prepare new guidelines for preventing falls.

Tinetti spoke at length about the guidelines, which were published in January in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. An edited version of our discussion follows.
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