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What are falls and why do they happen?

How many times have you heard someone say my grandmother fell and had to be hospitalized? Perhaps it is more common than we imagine. According to some studies 20% of adults aged between 65 to 69 years, and 40% of those over 80 have at least one fall per year, of which 80% are generated in the home.

Is important to consider this for the health impacts and associated costs. For example, in the United States 20 to 30% of older people who fall suffer moderate or severe injuries, such as bruises, hip or skull fractures, which they have a great impact on the family, because as you can imagine the fear of it happening again, the failure to have a system of prevention, the guilt of leaving them alone and also the trauma suffered by the affected makes the family dynamics change to name a few, hours at work or normal activities of children or grandchildren.

Given this situation, must take into account that in Mexico, between 2005 and 2050 the elderly population will increase about 26 million, more than 75% of this increase will occur from 2020. Thus, it is estimated that the population of 60 years or more, will represent one of every six people (17.1%) in 2030 and 2050 will be one in four (27.7%).

Therefore, it is expected that this phenomenon generates an increase in diseases associated with aging, including the condition known as frailty of the elderly, considered as a proper geriatric syndrome or syndrome of age who carries a high risk of mortality and disability and hospitalizations, falls, fractures, postoperative complications and overall poor health.


More than half of the falls lead to some type of injury and approximately 75% of seniors who fall suffer a further drop in the next six months.

General risk factors for falls:

One of the most important factors is the lack of a culture of prevention, especially in our country, for instance, when was the last time you submitted to a medical examination? Most Mexicans go to the doctor until symptoms of disease are present and, in many cases, until the disease is in a very advanced stage and difficult to control or cure.

Now imagine, we are so used to a routine that sometimes, either for lack of knowledge or carelessness ignore our father, mother, grandparents or other elderly loved one can be a victim of a fall.

Therefore, it is necessary to pay more attention if your loved one is 75 years old or older and notice they have difficulty getting out of the chair, if they have a visual problem, if there are architectural barriers such as stairs at home or at their place, walls that prevent the free and safe movement is also important that you make sure their footwear is appropriate, the best and safest is a shoe that fits their foot well, comfortable, and non-slip soles or rubber.

Some diseases such as neurological, osteoporosis, muscle or immobility can create a significant risk as well as certain medicines because about 80% of seniors receive some drug and 60% received two or more drugs, plus the tendency to self-medication and the therapeutic failure.

Usually falls are derived from a combination of several factors, which may be intrinsic (relative to the person) and extrinsic (relative to atmosphere).


Types of falls:

According to the Pan American Health Organization there are different types of falls.

-Accidental fall: is one that usually results from a cause beyond the healthy elderly (e.g. stumbling) and not repeated.
-Repeated fall: expresses the persistence of predisposing factors such as: multiple chronic diseases, drugs, sensory loss, etc.
-Prolonged fall: is one in which the elderly remain in the soil for more than 15 or 20 minutes for the inability to stand without assistance.

Our greatest desire is that you and your loved ones are calm and there is nothing better than provide welfare to our loved ones, so it is important that we consider these risks and help prevent falls that beyond physical pain can have consequences and impacts on the psychological and familiar. We recommend you have an effective contingency plan to respond timely to any situation and prevent further disturbances.