Tai Chi prevents falls in the elderly

Approximately a third of over 65s and half of over 80s will fall each year with an estimated NHS cost of £4.6m a day.

Health experts are now recommending that elderly individuals reduce medication and and take up Tai Chi lessons, which have been found to help prevent falls according to UK and US experts.

New plans for tackling the high level of falls has been included in new guidelines for doctors and Age UK has said that implementing the recommendations is crucial for improving services.

Experts from the British and American Geriatrics Societies have reviewed the medical research since the last set of guidelines were published, and new additions include recommendations for exercises which improve both strength and balance such as the Chinese martial art Tai Chi.

The latest research also acknowledges the fact that certain medications such as anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, can affect the brain and are strongly linked to falls.

Andrew Harrop, director of policy and public affairs at Age UK, said: ”With research showing that programmes for improving strength and balance can reduce the risk of falls by as much as 55%, the recommendation that interventions for preventing falls should include an exercise component is particularly welcome.”

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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