Falls are the fifth most frequent cause of death among elderly people. They are one of the main causes of disability and reduction in the quality of life in this age group. Falls are the direct cause of the majority of limb and femoral neck fractures. Fall prevention is a difficult, expensive and underestimated problem in Poland. 30-40% of women aged 65 years or older experience a fall at least once a year. Falls lead directly to fractures in 5% of those living on their own and 20% of hospital inpatients. Underlying a fall are dysfunctions of multiple organs and the influence of external factors. About 400 different fall risk factors have been described. It has been demonstrated that the risk of falls can be decreased by as much as 40% provided that the patient is treated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. Standard procedures of care have already been developed in Europe and in the world. This paper presents current knowledge on the epidemiology, significance and costs of treatment of complications of falls in elderly people.