Walking speed in old age draws on multiple mental functions; age-related dementia and falls may share some risk factor. Washington, DC — Psychologists wanting to help old people safely cross the street and otherwise ambulate around this busy world have found that from age 70 and up, safe walking may require solid "executive control" (which includes attention) and memory skills.
For the old, slow gait is a significant risk factor for falls, many of which
result in disabling fractures, loss of independence or even death. The finding
may help explain why cognitive problems in old age, including dementia, are
associated with falls.
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