Falls in older adults

Falls in older adults
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Front-wheeled walker
SpecialtyEmergency medicine, gerontology

Falls in older adults are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and are a major class of preventable injuries. Falling is one of the most common accidents that cause a loss in the quality of life for older adults, and is usually precipitated by a loss of balance and weakness in the legs.[1][2] The cause of falling in old age is often multifactorial and may require a multidisciplinary approach both to treat any injuries sustained and to prevent future falls.[3] Falls include dropping from a standing position or from exposed positions such as those on ladders or stepladders. The severity of injury is generally related to the height of the fall. The state of the ground surface onto which the victim falls is also important, harder surfaces causing more severe injury. Falls can be prevented by ensuring that carpets are tacked down, that objects like electric cords are not in one's path, that hearing and vision are optimized, dizziness is minimized, alcohol intake is moderated and that shoes have low heels or rubber soles.[4]

A review of clinical trial evidence by the European Food Safety Authority led to a recommendation that people over age 60 years should supplement the diet with vitamin D to reduce the risk of falling and bone fractures.[5] Falls are an important aspect of geriatric medicine.

  1. ^ Eibling, D. (2018). Balance disorders in older adults.Clinics in GeriatricMedicine,4(2), 175–181. doi:10.1016/j.cger.2018.01.002
  2. ^ Bao X., Qiu Q.-X., Shao Y.-J., Quiben M., Liu H. Effect of Sitting Ba-Duan-Jin Exercises on Balance and Quality of Life among Older Adults: A Preliminary Study. Rehabil. Nurs.. 2020;45(5):271-278. doi:10.1097/rnj.0000000000000219
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Sarofim was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Chang, Huan J. (2010-01-20). "Falls and older adults". JAMA. 303 (3): 288. doi:10.1001/jama.303.3.288. ISSN 0098-7484. PMID 20085959.
  5. ^ Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (2011). "Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to vitamin D and risk of falling pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006". EFSA Journal. EFSA Journal 2011;9(9):2382 [18 pp.]. 9 (9). doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2382.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

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