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An exercise program that focuses on improving balance can help prevent falls of elderly persons living in their own homes, according to a study by Australian researchers that appeared in the July 20 issue of BMJ.
The study involved 1090 healthy Australian-born adults 70 to 84 years of age who lived in their own homes. Participants were randomly assigned to three interventions (exercise to improve balance and strength, managing home hazards that could contribute to a fall, or vision improvement to meet a predetermined standard), alone or in various combinations, or to a control group. Those in study arms that included exercise attended a weekly exercise class for 15 weeks, supplemented by daily home exercises.
Stephenson J. Preventing Falls in Elderly Persons. JAMA. 2002;288(6):689. doi:10.1001/jama.288.6.689-JWM20008-3-1