Incidence and significance: Falls are a common occurrence amongst the population, especially in the elderly. There are a considerable number of risk factors involved with the possibility of a fall. Falls in the elderly can be prevented or at least become less frequent through an understanding of risk factors.
Discussion: A number of approaches are available and recommended in the prevention of falls. A multiple-risk-factor intervention strategy including balance considerations, activity level, fear of falling reduction, and medication monitoring will result in a significant reduction in the risk of falling among elderly persons. The ability of older persons to perform activities of daily living depends on their capacity to maneuver safely and effectively. Early detection of impairments and functional limitations can identify those persons with reduced mobility, deconditioning, and risks for injury. Direct assessment is necessary for identifying problems in gait, balance, ability to transfer, and joint function. Assessment procedures and intervention strategies are available and should be implemented by healthcare professionals. The risk of falling can be reduced by modifying known risk factors.
Conclusions: The approach to prevention of falls in senior citizens should include improving joint mobility, improved patient mobility, and prevention of the downward spiral of fear, depression, and inactivity that can lead to falling. There is a need to develop chiropractic models that address the special preventive and rehabilitative needs of older patients. The ability of older persons to remain independent has a profound influence on the perceived quality of life and the costs incurred for assistance.
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