Skip main navigation

Balance and fall prevention in older adults

Balance and fall prevention in older adults
Hi everyone! I’m Dr. Chia-Ching Chang. Today I would like to talk about balance and fall prevention in older adult. This is a very important issue among elderly population according to the national departments council. We will have over 14% elderly population in 2018 and will be over 20 in 2025. Additionally, the accident and ? with the ? of deaths among aging population. In Taiwan, especially the fall, will result in highest mortality. Besides, according to the CDC, 1 out of 3 people fall each year in the United States and annually, and will have double chance to fall again.
Regarding the incident of fall, about 30% of community older adults and 50% of older in nursing home residence will have fall incident each year. However, in Taiwan, there are around 10 to 20% community older adults to fall each year. And 3.8% will have recurring falls.
The consequence of fall are serious and costly. Not only the economic impact, but also the physical and psychosocial effect. The economic impact including direct cost, for example, hospitalization or surgery cost. Indirect cost such as rehabilitation or residency in nursing home. Physical effects can be minor such as laceration wound or major such as hip fracture or traumatic brain injury even cause to death. The consequence of falls are also related to psychosocial impact. The older adult might be fear of fall again and result in  ? their daily activity function which might lead to social isolation.
So let us see what the elderly population say.
Therefore, the fall prevention among the elderly become the important issues. The elderly who have high risk of fall usually will have acute falls or recurring falls within a year. The risk factor will likely to fall will divided into intrinsic factors and external factors. The internal factors
including history of falls: poor balance, difficulty walking or moving, cognitive decline, vertigo, medical effects, incontinence, postural hypotension, impulsive behavior, and so on. Regarding to the external factors, most of them will related to environment, such as floor, bedrails, ambulatory aids, and so on.
The poor balance and difficulty walking are two major factors related to elderly fall. The most important prevention strategy is to evaluate balance and strength…balance as early as possible.
So let us see how to do the balance assessment.
For the strength the balance, you can do some strength and balance exercise. There are some  IoT can help assessing and training the balance. Such as video games or visual reality software.

In this video, Professor Chang explains a common health issue: falling among the elderly. She explains how technology and the Internet of Things can help with fall prevention.

Take a look at the two journal papers we’ve shared in the See also section to read more about falling risk among the elderly and how technology can aid mobility and balance.


Prof. Chia-Chi Chang

This article is from the free online

Internet of Things for Active Ageing

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now