Did You Know?
The number of persons above the age of 60 years is fast growing, especially in India. Each year, millions
of older adults aged 65 and older fall. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.
The prevention of falls is of major importance because they engender considerable mortality, morbidity and suffering for older people and their families, and incurs social costs due to hospital and nursing home admissions.
Falls can also have psychological and social consequences. Recurrent falls are a common reason for admission of previously independent elderly persons to long term care institutions. One study found that falls were a major reason for 40% of nursing home admissions. Fear of falling and the post fall anxiety syndrome are also well recognized as negative consequences of falls. The loss of self-confidence to ambulate safely can result in self-imposed functional limitations.
In an unpublished study, the mean cost per hospitalisation for fall-related injuries to a tertiary hospital is 44,266 Indian rupees (US$835) in India. In 2013, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, were $34 billion (Stevens JA et al. 2006).
Each year, millions of older adults aged 65 and older fall. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries.