System Takes on Epidemic of Falling Among Elderly

Anyone who’s had to care for an older person in the twilight years knows that the rough ride often starts with the falls. This hasn’t escaped the notice of experts, either, who are starting to refer to an epidemic of falling, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports(link is external).

Some organizations are attacking the problem. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the CDC, and a health care data collecting company called Epic Systems are in the process of building a program that can actually predict whether an elderly person will fall. “It not only calculates the risk — it steers physicians to preventative treatments,” the newspaper reports.

The system is called Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries, or STEADI, and depends a lot on doctor/patient rapport. It “takes into account many well-established risk factors for falls, such as what medications a person is taking and how many medications they are on, their leg strength and balance, their vision and whether they’ve fallen previously.”

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