Falls in the elderly: a major public health challenge with some encouraging developments. A mini review
Falls are among the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Well-known risk factors are reduced physical activity, obstacles in the environment, balance and gait disorders, depression and neurological diseases. The gravity of trauma related to falls has been studied extensively, the main predictors of a harmful development within 12 months of a fall being dementia, old age, the level of dependency and restricted mobility. Efficient prevention interventions do exist, especially exercise-based interventions and assessment and modification of the home environment. A shift in the trend of falls among the elderly has indeed been reported in several Western countries: since the 1990s, rates of fall-related injuries have declined in countries such as Finland, Sweden, Canada and Switzerland.
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© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2020
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