Monday, September 27, 2010

Vitamin D May Reduce Falls in the Elderly in SNFs

Dietary Supplements

Recent studies indicate that adding Vitamin D supplements to the diets of nursing home residents may reduce the frequency of falls, a leading cause of death and disability in the elderly.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with muscle weakness, which can contribute to falls and fractures. Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to falling due to advanced age, health problems, and weakened eyesight. In fact, approximately 50% of nursing home residents fall every year, and those who are injured become even more prone to future falls.

Although exercise, appropriate equipment, adequate staffing and a risk-free environment are important, research done at the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney in Ryde, Australia found that Vitamin D was a effective measure, although they are not sure why. 

Fall Prevention Resources, Available Online

In an effort to increase awareness about fall prevention hazards the Fall Improvement Taskforce (FIT) at Pathways created colorful flyers that can be printed and used as check-off lists to ensure your environment remains safe and to minimize the risk of falls.

Topics include: “Did you know that clothing can contribute to falls?”; “Medications can increase the risk of falls”’; and “People with vision deficits are twice as likely to fall”.

These helpful resources can be downloaded via our website at

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