|NIHSeniorHealth Adds Information on Falls
You accidentally slip on a wet bathroom floor, trip on a loose
throw rug, or lose your balance on the stairs. If you or an older
person you know has fallen, you’re not alone. Each year, more than
1.6 million older Americans go to the emergency room for fall-related
injuries. Among older adults, falls are the number one cause of
fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence
and injury-related deaths, but falls are not an inevitable part
of life, even as a person gets older.
Information about the risks of falling and what you can do to
prevent falls has just been added to NIHSeniorHealth (www.NIHSeniorHealth.gov).
This Web site, which was designed especially for older adults,
is a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and
the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which are part of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH).
“Falls can have devastating effects in older people,” says Richard
J. Hodes, M.D., director of the NIA, which developed the content
for the falls topic on NIHSeniorHealth. A simple fall can cause
a serious fracture of the arm, hand, ankle or hip. Only half of
older adults hospitalized for a broken hip return home or live
on their own after the injury, which is why prevention is so important.
Information about taking care of your health, reducing hazards
at home, exercising and making other lifestyle changes to reduce
the risk of falling is now easily accessible on NIHSeniorHealth.
Older Americans increasingly are turning to the Internet for health
information. In fact, 66 percent of “wired” seniors surf for health
and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth, which
is based on the latest research on cognition and aging, features
short, easy-to-read segments of information in a variety of formats,
including large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos and even
an audio version. Additional topics coming soon to the site include
clinical trials, nutrition and skin cancer. The site links to MedlinePlus,
NLM’s premier, more detailed site for consumer health information.
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting
research on aging and the health and well-being of older people.
The NLM, the world's largest library of the health sciences,
creates and sponsors Web-based health information resources for
the public and professionals. Both are components of the NIH
in Bethesda, Md.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.