12. Factors Limiting Progress

Defining falls

  • There are many different interpretations of falls. Older people tend to describe a fall as a loss of balance, whereas healthcare professionals generally refer to events leading to injuries and ill health. (WHO, 2007)

Aging population

  • Falls exponentially increase with age-related biological change, therefore a pronounced number of persons over the age of 80 years will trigger substantial increase of falls and fall injury at an alarming rate. (WHO, 2007)

Current lack of education and awareness about this issue

  • Falls cost the American government $19 billion a year, but only $1 million a year is spent on falls research and prevention. (National Safety Council, 2007)

Unknown interactions with medications

Health factors

  • Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, or vision problems have higher fall rates. (National Safety Council, 2007)