A community based falls prevention program in the UK has more than halved the rate of falls among older people.

The program targeted elderly people who had called an emergency ambulance following a fall but were not taken to hospital.

A study of the initiative followed 204 older people aged 60 and over who lived at home or in a residential care facility.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the study compared the falls rates of participants involved in the program with older people receiving standard medical and social care, over a 12 month period.

Study participants involved in the falls prevention program had an average of 3.46 falls per years, compared to 7.68 among the control group.

They also performed better at activities of daily living and experienced a reduced fear of falling.

“A service to prevent falls in the community reduced the fall rate and improved clinical outcome in the high risk group of older people, who call an emergency ambulance after a fall but are not taken to hospital,” said the studies authors.

The authors have now called for a study to monitor the economic consequences of these findings.

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