The Intersection of Falls and Dementia in Primary Care: Evaluation and Management Considerations

Med Clin North Am. 2020 Sep;104(5):791-806. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2020.06.003. Epub 2020 Jul 15.


A large body of research has addressed the assessment and management of fall risk among community-dwelling older adults. Persons with dementia are at higher risk for falls and fall-related injuries, yet less is known about effective strategies for reducing falls and injuries among those with dementia. Falls and dementia are regularly considered to be discrete conditions and are often managed separately. Increasing evidence shows that these conditions frequently co-occur, and one may precede the other. This article explores the relationship between falls and dementia, including the importance of rehabilitation strategies for reducing fall risk in these individuals.

Keywords: Fall prevention; Falls; Occupational therapy; Older adults; Persons with dementia; Physical therapy; Rehabilitation services; Risk assessment and management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls* / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls* / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Causality
  • Dementia* / diagnosis
  • Dementia* / epidemiology
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / psychology
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Risk Assessment / methods*