Scientists from the University of Sydney found that getting rid of unnecessary things can prevent falls among the elderly. The study is published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews .
Falls by people aged 65 and over can result in serious injury or death, with the most common fall being at home. Decluttering and eliminating hazards in the home can reduce the risk of falls by 26%, scientists have found.
The authors of the work analyzed the results of 22 studies that included data on 8.5 thousand older people.
The main risk factors for falls at home were clutter, stairs without railings and poor lighting. Also useful were the non-slip strips on the steps. Researchers have not found any convincing evidence of the benefit of other fall reduction measures, such as the use of the correct goggles, special footwear, or education to reduce the risk of falls.
The greatest benefit (38% reduction in risk of falls) from decluttering and eliminating hazards was experienced by older people who had a recent fall, were hospitalized, or needed help with daily activities (dressing or using stairs).
Scientists believe that professional support from an occupational therapist could reduce the risk even more.