Falls in the Older Adult Population: Risk Factors, Risk Identification Instruments and Fall Prevention Programs.
The number of people over the age of 60 is growing faster than any other age group in the world. In 2006, there were 688 million individuals older than 60 and there are expected to be almost 2 billion individuals by 2050. 1 The main reasons for this substantial demographic change are higher life expectancy and declining birthrates.2 This increase in the proportion of older adults is important from a public health perspective. Aging is generally associated with progressive decline in physical and physiological health, increased risk of disability and dependency and an increase in the number of comorbidities.3 This decrease in health status is mainly responsible for one of the most prevalent and serious public health problems: falls.4 According to a Health Quality Ontario study5 , It is estimated that approximately 30% of community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older and 50% of individuals aged 85 and older will fall each year. Furthermore, 12-42% of these individuals who fall will have a fall related injury. The study specifies that 44% of falls cause minor injuries such as bruises, abrasions and sprains and 4-5% of falls cause major injuries such as wrist and hip fractures.
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