Balance Problems and Fall Risks in the Elderly

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2017 Nov;28(4):727-737. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2017.06.006.


Falls in the elderly are an increasing problem causing a high degree of morbidity, mortality, and use of health care services. Identification of risk factors through medical assessment supports the provision of appropriate interventions that reduce rates of falling. Evaluation and intervention strategies are generally challenging because of the complex and multifactorial nature of falls. The clinician should consider screening for falls an important part of the functional evaluation in older adults. Several potential interventions have proven helpful as preventive strategies. Optimal approaches involve interdisciplinary collaboration in assessment and interventions, particularly exercise, attention to coexisting medical conditions, and reduction of environmental hazards.

Keywords: Balance; Falls; Older adults; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls* / mortality
  • Accidental Falls* / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Postural Balance*
  • Risk Factors