US News Health recently ran an article regarding elderly fall prevention and how watching videos of falls might help avoid them in the future. To read the original article, please click this link or continue to read below.
Incorrect weight shifting is the most common cause of falls in
elderly people, according to researchers who analyzed videos of actual
falls among seniors.
The videos of 227 falls suffered by 130
people -- taken from closed-circuit television systems in public areas
of two long-term care facilities for the elderly in British Columbia,
Canada -- offer real-life examples of the causes and circumstances of
The study is the first of its kind and could help improve
understanding and prevention of falls in elderly people, the researchers
Forty-one percent of falls in the videos were caused by
incorrect weight shifting, where the person shifted their body weight
and caused their center of gravity to move outside their base of
support, the investigators found.
Other common causes of falls
included trips or stumbles (21 percent), hits or bumps (11 percent),
loss of support (11 percent), and collapse (11 percent). In one-quarter
of the cases where seniors tripped, the incident occurred because their
foot got caught on a table or chair, which suggests that facility staff
members need more awareness about this type of hazard.
caused by slipping have been the focus of most laboratory-based studies
of falls among older adults, yet this new study, published online Oct.
16 in The Lancet, found that slipping accounted for just 3 percent of falls.
of falls in elderly people needs to be a public health priority.
However, up to now, the general scarcity of reliable information on
falls in elderly people has hindered the development of safer
environments for older people and fall prevention programs," study
author Stephen Robinovitch, of Simon Fraser University, said in a
journal news release.
"Our study provides long-missing objective
evidence of the causes and circumstances of falls in elderly people, and
should open up new avenues for the prevention of fall injury in
long-term care," Robinovitch noted.
Falls are the most frequent
cause of accidental injuries in people 65 and older, accounting for 90
percent of hip and wrist fractures and 60 percent of head injuries in
elderly people, the study authors pointed out in the news release.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and
central Pennsylvania. He takes claims for elder falls in public,
nursing homes, and hospitals. To learn more about his law practice,
please visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his office at 814-946-4100.