Fall prevention is a variety of actions to help reduce the number of accidental falls suffered by older people.
Falls and fall related injuries are among the most serious and common medical problems experienced by older adults. Nearly one-third of older persons fall each year, and half of them fall more than once.Over 3 million American over the age of 65 visited hospital emergency departments in 2015 due to fall related injuries with over 1.6 million being admitted.Because of underlying osteoporosis and decreased mobility and reflexes, falls often result in hip fracturesand other fractures, head injuries, and even death in older adults. Accidental injuries are the fifth most common cause of death in older adults. In around 75% of hip fracture patients, recovery is incomplete and overall health deteriorates.
The most consistently proven predictors of fall risk are history of a fall during the past year and gait and balance abnormalities. Some studies (but not others) indicated that impaired vision, certain medications (especially psychotropic drugs),decreased activities of daily living and impaired cognition are associated with a higher risk of falls. Furthermore, some interventions that have been shown to be effective in one country are not necessarily generalized to other populations. The contribution of orthostatic hypotension to fall risk remains uncertain.