“Unintentional falls are a threat to the lives, independence and health of adults ages 65 and older. Every 18 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency department for a fall, and every 35 minutes someone in this population dies as a result of their injuries.” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2005.)
Falls are a major source of disability through fractures, fear and activity restriction. Research has shown that a multidisciplinary approach can reduce the risk of falls. Programs should address both intrinsic (strength, vision, balance deficits, medication use) and extrinsic factors (such as pathways and lighting in the home). The Cochrane Database of Systematic Review published a review of the literature pertaining to falls. They reviewed 111 studies of fall prevention interventions and found that the studies suggest that group exercise programs, Tai Chi and home exercise programs can all reduce the risk and rate of falling (Gillespie LD, et al., 2009).