To prevent falls, it may pay off to remodel the house

Home renovations could be well worth the expense for older adults and people with a history of falls because they prevent injuries and might curb medical spending, a study in New Zealand suggests. The cost-benefit analysis found a 33 percent reduction in spending to treat fall injuries over three years, and potentially a six-fold savings in “social costs” related to such injuries. In a prior study, the authors followed 1,850 people in New Zealand for three years and found home remodeling associated with a 26 percent reduction in medically treated injuries from falls. But researchers didn’t know whether the cost of renovations could translate into less spending on treatment related to falls, said lead study author Dr. Michael Keall of Otago Medical School in Wellington. “When the modifications are costly (and some of those we tested did involve reasonable expense), there needs to be good justification of the expected safety benefits,” Keall said by email.


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