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The Journal of Community Health Management


PREVENTION OF FALLS AND FALL INJURIES IN THE ELDERLY


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Author Details: Seema Singh

Volume : 2

Issue : 3

Online ISSN : 2394-2738

Print ISSN : 2394-272X

Article First Page : 144

Article End Page : 153


Abstract

Objectives- Falls in older people are a major concern in terms of disability, institutionalization, mortality and socioeconomic burden. Studies on falls in Indian older adults were reviewed to determine the prevalence, consequences, risk factors, and interventional strategies for falls.
Data sources- MEDLINE, PubMed, Google, Cochrane databases, Internet searches and IndMED.
Study selection- Studies on falls in older adults published in last ten years were found using the key words: falls, Indian older adults or older adults, prevalence, circumstances and consequence, injuries, risk factors, health, balance, and mobility.
Data extraction- A comprehensive literature search was done. The search resulted in 20 publications:- 10 national published and 10 international published research studies.
Data synthesis- The prevalence of falls in Indian older adults ranges from 14% to 53%. Falls result in considerable morbidity and mortality. Indian elderly people are facing challenges secondary to the changing socio-economic scenario, economic dependency, and decreasing family support. Fall-related injuries impose a substantial financial burden on older adults and their families, in addition to dependency for daily activities and activity restriction.
Conclusion- Falls are an emerging public health problem and a barrier to active ageing in India. There is an urgent need for coordinated and collaborative efforts of health professionals, researchers, policy makers, and health care delivery systems to prevent falls and promote active ageing. Falls are potentially preventable. For older adults in the community, exercise programs and vitamin D supplementation in those with deficiency are highly effective in preventing falls. Psychoactive drug withdrawal, home visits, vision optimization and a multifactorial approach are also effective.

Key words:
Falls; Aged; Prevalence; Primary prevention; Risk factors; elder adults.