Old Age and Fall Risk


By Aysel Özdemir

Photo by Mochammad Algi on Pexels.com

Fall is defined as touching the ground in an unexpected and unprepared way due to a loss of balance as a result of the individual’s inattentiveness (Kuhırunyaratn et al., 2019; Kılınç et al., 2017). Loss of functions in old age increases the frequency of falling. According to the global report by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is stated that individuals aged 65 years and older fall at a rate of 28-35% every year and this rate increases in parallel with the increase of age and fragility level (World Health Organization, 2007).

Primary cause of death in individuals older than 65 years in the United States of America is falls (Kuhırunyaratn et al., 2019).

In a study conducted in Japan, it was determined that 16% of men and 22% of women would fall at least once (Mizukami et al., 2013). In a cohort study conducted in Boston with the elderly who had been followed for nearly 4.3 years, 1680 falls were reported (786 outdoors, 894 indoors). During the 4.3-year follow-up (663 in men, 1017 in women), a total of 1680 falls were reported (786 outdoors, 894 indoors). The rate of reporting; no fall was 37,3% in men and 36,4% in women; one fall was 20,3% in men and 20,8% in women, two falls was 13,8% in men and 13,1% in women, three or more falls was 28,6% in men and 29,7% in women. It was seen that the rates of falling on the pavements, streets and outdoors were similar in women and men, whereas the rates of falling indoors (especially in the kitchen) were almost two times higher in women than men (Duckham et al., 2013).

In a study conducted in Samsun, it was determined that 43,3% of the elderly fell indoors and consequently 16,4% of them had internal organ injuries, 53,2% bone fractures and 41,5% femur fractures the most (Kılınç et al., 2017). In a study conducted by Schluter et al. (2018) with patients suffering from incontinence in New Zealand, it was determined that 42,7% of men fell and 2,5% of them had fractures as a result of falling. In the study, it was also determined that 39,1% of women fell and 3,7% of them had fractures as a result of falling. In a study conducted by Pitchai et al. (2019), it was determined that fall prevalence was 24,98%. It was determined that 44,92% of the falls occurred in the morning, majority of them (65,43%) took place indoors and 56,45% were caused by slipping. Among the individuals who fell; 60,55% had a permanent disability and 34,70% developed fear of falling


(PDF) Old Age and Aging. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336686689_Old_Age_and_Aging [accessed Oct 28 2019].

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