ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Winter Is Tough on Feet
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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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