ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
CAREGIVING
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly

SATURDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Falls are a leading cause of serious injury and death among elderly people in the United States, and most of those falls occur in the home, says the American Geriatric Society (AGS).

"There are many steps people can take to make their home safer for those who are aging. Something as small as using a night light in a dark hallway can prevent an elderly person from falling during the night," Dr. Cheryl Phillips, a member of the AGS, said in a news release. "Falls are so dangerous to this particular population, and there are easy ways to help avoid them," she added.

Phillips offered the following safety suggestions:

* Remove loose carpets and rugs, and put non-skid backing on rugs to avoid tripping.
* Wear shoes with firm, non-skid soles around the house. Wearing slippers or socks without some type of rubber grip on the bottom can increased the risk of falls.
* Place night lights in dimly lit areas, at the top and bottom of stairs, and in bedrooms and bathrooms.
* Remove clutter, boxes and low furniture from the house, and especially from near staircases.
* Install hand rails near any stairs in the home or backyard and check that existing hand rails are sturdy.
* Install grab bars near the toilet and bath tub, and no slip decals or a rubber mat in the tub or shower.
* Place contrasting strips at the edge of each step to clearly define where the step ends.

"I advise caregivers to walk through the home and check each room for potential dangers. Not all homes are the same, so caregivers should ask themselves what safety issues are unique to the particular house," Phillips said.

Each year, about one in three Americans aged 65 and older suffers a fall, and 30 percent of those falls cause injuries that require medical treatment. In 2005, almost 16,000 older adults in the United States died from falls, 1.8 million were treated in emergency departments, and 433,000 were hospitalized.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about older adults and falls.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Geriatrics Society, news release, July 2008

Last Updated: July 19, 2008

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