SOURCE: Aging and Adult Services Division, Minnesota Department of Human Services, USA.
Chronic diseases and falls are among the major causes of death and disability among people age 65 and older. Often, they can be managed or, in the case of falls, prevented. Studies have shown that programs that teach people to manage their conditions or risk factors can reduce the chance of complications or poor outcomes that can affect their quality of life and independence. This article reminds physicians that older adults should be encouraged to engage in preventing disease and injury and describes two programs that have been shown to help older adults do this: A Matter of Balance for fall prevention and Living Well with Chronic Conditions.