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Preventing falls among older adults: No "one size suits all" intervention strategy

Debra J. Rose, PhD

Regularly participating in physical activity is important for all older adults. While many activity choices (for example, walking, tai chi, and dancing) are available to nondisabled older adults at low risk for falls, fewer choices are available as the level of fall risk increases. Carefully designed exercise programs that specifically address the important physical risk factors that contribute to falls (e.g., impaired balance and walking and muscle weakness) will be more effective for older adults at moderate-to-high risk for falls. Programs that also address other identified risk factors for falls (e.g., certain medical conditions, type and number of medications, unsafe home environment) are also likely to be more effective for older adults at high risk for falls. Service providers can use this information to ensure that older adults are referred to an exercise program that best suits their needs.

Volume 45 Number 8, 2008
   Pages 1153 — 1166


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