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COVID pandemic may have increased the risk of falls in the elderly

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Ann Arbor – According to a new national poll by the University of Michigan, changes in physical activity during the COVID pandemic may have increased the risk of falls for older people.

More than one-third of those surveyed between the ages of 50 and 80 said that physical activity decreased during the first 10 months of the pandemic. More than a quarter say they are sicker than they were before the pandemic.

Another discovery of UM National poll on healthy aging Many of them said they were at increased risk of falling.

Studies on falls suggest that the fear of falls combined with reduced physical activity may increase the risk of falls in the future.

Poll leaders hope that increasing awareness of this issue will make adults more motivated, especially if the pandemic makes them less active.

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Twenty-five percent of older people in polls say they experienced falls in the first 10 months of the pandemic. 40% of them experienced multiple falls during the same period.

Polls show that certain groups of older people, such as women, black adults, adults over 65, and older people experiencing loneliness, have additional help to reduce the risk of falls and improve physical activity. I also found that it might be necessary.

Polls based on the UM Healthcare Institute for Policy Innovation were supported by Michigan Medicine and AARP.

In this poll conducted in January 2021, responses were received from adults aged 50 to 80 and over nationwide.

“Many older people fall each year, and pandemics were no exception. Many falls cause at least minor injuries in this age group, and one-third require medical attention,” said UM Nursing School. The fall researcher who is an assistant professor and cooperated with the poll team Jeff Hoffman, Said in the release.

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“Physical conditioning can make a big difference in maintaining independence, such as avoiding a fall, but it can also make a difference in how well someone responds to a fall and recovers. Physical health and activity. Not only is it very important to focus on prevention now, including family safety and social factors that can increase risk. “

Each year, more than 32,000 elderly people die from falls or injuries during falls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number is expected to increase as the US population ages.

Poll Director Pretty Marani The report also stated that the relationship between increased lack of dating and loneliness during a pandemic could lead to changes in fall risk, mobility, and activity levels.

According to the report, those who reported lack of dating were at increased risk of falling.

“Healthcare providers and loved ones need to encourage more interactions with safe physical activity, especially for the majority of older people vaccinated with COVID-19, as their lives approach normal. “Marani said in the release.

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“We need to make up for the lost time and get the elderly on track or back on track. To help protect their independence by reducing the risk of falls and major injuries associated with falls. Move and strengthen. It would be even better if this happened in connection with social interaction. “

An additional poll result was that 28% of older people who were injured in a fall during a pandemic delayed or avoided the appropriate medical care needed at that time. Forty percent of respondents in this group said the pandemic was the reason they didn’t seek care.

“Falls are a serious health and safety concern for older people,” Alison Bryant, senior vice president of research at AARP, said in a statement. “Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce the risk of falls, such as using bright light bulbs, removing floor coverings, and making simple home modifications such as keeping electrical cords out of the way.”

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Read the entire voting report here..

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