ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
CANCER
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
CAREGIVING
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
FITNESS
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
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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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