As reported by Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the CDC says about one of every four older adults falls in a year. In 2016 those resulted in 29,668 deaths, and the mortality rate attached to such falls has been increasing about 3 percent annually.
Recently, Mr. Rotstein interviewed McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Jessie VanSwearingen, PhD, PT, FAPTA, regarding her 20 years of research focused on older adults’ mobility and falls prevention issues. In the interview, Dr. VanSwearingen explains why older people fall with such frequency, when they didn’t do so earlier in adulthood. She also addresses the right steps people can take to avoid falling in the first place and how doctors and family members or caregivers can help. Read the entire interview here.
Dr. VanSwearingen is an Associate Professor in Physical Therapy in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and holds a joint appointment within the School of Nursing. Dr. VanSwearingen received her PhD in Anatomy and Cell Science from the Department of Neurobiology within Pitt’s School of Medicine. Professionally, Dr. VanSwearingen has fostered interests in several areas of her field, including:
- Geriatrics, movement control and neuromotor function
- Facial neuromuscular disorders
- Physiological basis for exercise in health, repair, and recovery of function
Illustration: University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.