Adults of 65+ with brain health issues are 2 to 3 times more likely to fall compared with those without. Moreover, if they use medication for chronic pain, they increase their risk of falling even more. At least, according to a recent study. The study investigated a relationship between use of pain medication and falls among adults aged 65+ based on their brain health.
It turned out that people living with dementia took pain medication more often than those with no dementia. The same group of people reported at least 1 fall in the past month and worry about falling down and balance/coordination.
In addition, the researchers found that that taking pain medication 2 days a week or more was also linked to an increased risk of falls among those with probable dementia. They explained that the connection between pain medication and falls can be partly explained by the severity of brain health issues among older adults.
Why is this important to know? Because falls can lead to serious broken bones, hip fractures and even head injuries.
What can the older adults with declined brain health do to minimize their risk of falling? The researchers believe that both education about alternative ways of pain management and balance training, can significally contribute to prevention of falls and confidence in physical strength of the body.
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