What can be done for elderly patients with peripheral neuropathy to prevent serious injury from falls?

Elderly people with type-2 diabetes mellitus(T2DM) and diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) may be more prone to suffer severe injuries due to tripping and falling.

A startling statistic reveals an older adults are admitted to hospitals every 13 seconds, on average, due to falls, while one death results from a fall every 20 minutes.

A recent paper addressed that issue and concluded,

“Falls prevention programs with a component of weight-bearing exercises are effective in decreasing future falls in the elderly. However, weight-bearing exercise was only recently recommended in guidelines for exercise for people with T2DM and DPN. Since then, there have been an increasing number of studies to evaluate the effectiveness of falls prevention programs on this targeted population.”

“Interventions included lower limb strengthening, balance practice, aerobic exercise, walking programs, and Tai Chi.”

National Council On Aging lists several Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Programs on its website.

NCOA elderly falls prevention programsInfographic credit: NCOA

A Matter of Balance

FallScape

The Otago Exercise Program

Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL)

Stepping On

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance

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