Falls in Older Adults are Serious

Indian J Orthop. 2020 Jan 24;54(1):69-74. doi: 10.1007/s43465-019-00037-x. eCollection 2020 Feb.


Background: Falls in older adults are a reasonably common occurrence and about 10% of these experience multiple falls annually. These falls may be serious and may cause significant morbidity and mortality. These can also threaten the independence of older people and may be responsible for an individual's loss of independence and socioeconomic consequences. These falls may add extra burden to the health care and to direct and indirect costs.

Methodology: An extensive search of literature was done on the important data bases of PubMed, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar on this topic and all the useful information was derived from the relevant articles for this review.

Results: We found that the falls in older individuals are often multi factorial and hence a multidisciplinary approach is required to prevent and manage these falls. The risk factors leading to the falls could be divided into extrinsic, intrinsic and situational factors. The commonest and serious injuries are to the head and fractures, due to fragility of bones.

Discussion: The falls in elderly are on rise and taking the shape of an epidemic. Prevention of these falls is far better than the management. Safe living environment of the elderly people helps in prevention of these falls. The management of the falls should focus on the causative factors, apart from treating the injuries caused by the falls.

Keywords: Fall; Fractures; Geriatrics; Older adults; Prevention; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review