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Interventions to Prevent Falls Among Older Adults

  • Laurence Z. Rubenstein
  • Judy A. Stevens
  • Vicky Scott

Falls consistently rank among the most serious problems facing older persons and cause a tremendous amount of morbidity, mortality, and disability (Brown, 1999; Nevitt, 1997; Robbins et al., 1989; Rubenstein, Josephson, & Robbins, 1994; Tinetti, Williams, & Mayewski, 1986). At least a third of community-dwelling people aged 65 years and older fall each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2005; Campbell, Spears, & Borrie, 1990; Rubenstein & Josephson, 2002), and the rates in nursing homes and hospitals are considerably higher (Rubenstein & Josephson, 2002). In 2002 in the United States, falls were responsible for 12,800 deaths and 1.64 million visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) (CDC, 2005). In addition to physical injury, falls can have major psychological and social consequences. Fear of falling and loss of self-confidence can cause seniors to limit their activities and lead to reduced mobility, decreased physical fitness, and increased fall risk (Brown, 1999; Clark, Lord, & Webster, 1993; Vellas, Wayne, Romero, Baumgartner, & Garry, 1997).

This chapter provides an overview of our current knowledge about fall risk factors, evidence for intervention strategies in various settings, implications for public health practice, and future research needs.

Keywords

Nursing Home Nursing Home Resident Fall Risk Older Adult Fall Prevention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geriatric CenterVeterans Affairs Medical Center-UCLA School of MedicineSepulveda
  2. 2.Division of Unintentional InjuryCDC National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlAtlanta
  3. 3.Ministry of Health ServicesVictoriaCanada

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