Magazine article USA TODAY

Injuries Differ for Outdoors and Indoors

Magazine article USA TODAY

Injuries Differ for Outdoors and Indoors

Article excerpt

Falling can have serious consequences for older adults, including a loss of function and increased risk of institutionalization. According to a study at New York University's School of Culture, Education, and Human Development published in Geriatrics and Gerontology.; patient characteristics and outcomes differ for people--those 55 or older--who fall outdoors versus indoors.

The findings reveal that individuals who fall outdoors are more likely to be younger, male, and are less likely to have certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, dementia, and congestive heart failure when compared to those who fall indoors. "Given the reduced activity levels associated with these conditions and the resulting decrease in time spent outdoors, these findings make sense," relates study author Tracy Chippendale, assistant professor of occupational therapy.

Differences also are found in the patients' outcomes and injuries. While outdoor fellers are just as likely to experience severe injuries and long hospital stays as indoor tellers, indoor tellers are more likely to be transferred to a rehabilitation facility rather than returning home from the hospital. This finding is logical given flat indoor fellers are, on average, older and may take longer to recover. …

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