A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston found that there is no link between elderly patients' activity and hospital falls. Previously, it was assumed that aging patients should limit their mobility in order to prevent falls.
"We matched 10 patients who had fallen with 25 who had not fallen based on age, gender, reason for admission, illness severity, and mobility status before admission," said UTMB assistant professor and lead author Steven Fisher. "All of these people had worn step activity monitors during their stay in the hospital, and when we analyzed the data from these devices, we found no statistical difference in the amount of walking between the groups."
The researchers concluded that hospital deconditioning, which includes loss of muscle mass, is the reason for the increase of falls. In addition, if those patients were to become more active, it could actually decrease their risk of falling.
Seniors who find themselves in the hospital should continue to stay mobile and move around. In doing this, they will be able to keep up with their active lifestyle long after they leave the hospital.