Falls in cognitive impairment and dementia

Clin Geriatr Med. 2002 May;18(2):159-73. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0690(02)00003-4.


Older people with cognitive impairment and dementia are at increased risk for falls and subsequent adverse events. The most common risk factors for falls that are found specifically in patients with cognitive impairment and dementia are postural instability, medication, neurocardiovascular instability (particularly orthostatic hypotension), and environmental hazards. Based on data from studies in cognitively normal people who fall, modification of these risk factors may prevent falls in older people with cognitive impairment and dementia. Preliminary research in subjects with cognitive impairment and dementia suggests that physiotherapy may have a role in falls prevention. Additionally, risk-factor-targeted interventions may reduce the risk of falls in patients who have cardiovascular abnormalities and neurocardiovascular instability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / complications*
  • Dementia / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Risk Factors