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Fall Prone Fail to Adjust Walking Speed

Posted Nov 07 2011 9:00am


Seniors prone to falling might do so because they fail to adjust their walking speed to their vision impairments.

Irish investigators from Trinity College in Dublin divided 17 participants into three groups and made them complete a walking course, once while wearing goggles that blurred their vision and once without the goggles. 
The first group comprised five older adults who had fallen at least once in the last year; the second group had six seniors who had not fallen; and the third group had six younger adults.
All three groups struggled with the blurred-vision goggles, but the younger group, and the group of seniors without a history of falls both slowed their walking speed to adjust to their vision impairment. The group of seniors with recent falls, however, did not reduce their walking speed compensate for their blurred vision.
Fall prone adults seems to less ability to analyze their surrounding environment.Yet because they are prone to falls this is a skill they need to learn. This is similar to a situation with my father-in-law who continually walks without picking up his feet. He has fallen several times because of this.
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