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Feature Article

Falls in older people: prevention and injury minimisation

Jennifer Schwarz

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Abstract

Falls are the most common cause of injury in people older than 65 years. While many can be prevented, strategies are available to reduce injury in people at high risk of falls and those who fall recurrently. Multidisciplinary management is important.

Key Points

  • One in three people aged over 65 years will experience a fall each year.
  • Falls are multifactorial in nature; they may result in loss of confidence, restriction of activity, physical injury and death.
  • Interventions to reduce falls include optimising health, reducing psychoactive medication, strengthening muscles, retraining in balance control, wearing appropriate footwear, modifying the environment and providing psychological support.
  • Interventions to reduce injuries from falls include treating osteoporosis or osteomalacia, implementing strategies to reduce the length of time on the ground after a fall and using hip protectors.

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