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Alzheimers and Falling Whats the Connection
8/9/2012
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a disease associated with a loss of memory and intellectual abilities.
The risk of developing AD increases with advancing age and gradually gets worse over time. One of the most common safety problems in persons with AD is that of falling. It’s estimated that up to 60% of persons with AD experience one or more falls annually. Of even greater importance, the risk of sustaining an injury from a fall is considerable. Fall-related fractures (e.g., arm and hip fractures) are all too common; often leading to long term care placement. If caregivers are aware of why AD individuals fall, they can take steps to prevent falls and potential injuries.

It’s important to understand that falls are not a normal part of AD. In order to stop falls from happening, it will help you to understand who is at greatest risk and why. There are certain conditions or situations putting AD individuals at high risk (i.e., persons with AD may not exhibit all the risk factors discussed. As the disease gets progressively worse, however, the likelihood of exhibiting a number of fall risk factors increases).

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