One in three people aged 65 and over has a fall accident every year

Physiotherapist Gülşah Konakoğlu said that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the biggest health problem in the elderly is determined as "falling down", and that one out of every three individuals aged 65 and over in Turkey experiences falling down accident every year.

One in three people aged 65 and over has a fall accident every year

Falling is one of the minor accidents that usually happen to children and the elderly, especially in the home environment. Although it is perceived as insignificant, experts occasionally warn about health problems that may occur afterwards. In this sense, Gülşah Konakoğlu, who is lecturer at Istanbul Gelisim University Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, also touched upon the remarkable details that emerged as a result of the research conducted on falls by the World Health Organization. Physiotherapist Gülşah Konakoğlu said that the biggest health problem, especially in the elderly, occurs as a result of slipping according to this report. Moreover, one third of individuals over the age of 65 slips and falls down every year according to the research conducted in Turkey.

“70% of the fall accidents cause injuries”

Referring to the researches, Gülşah Konakoğlu said, “Especially the elderly people’s falling down at home is categorized as risky accident. However, this is a fact for all age groups for sure. However, the World Health Organization defines falling in old age as one of the biggest health problems. When we look at the studies and researches on fall accidents in Turkey, we see that one-third of individuals aged 65 and over has fall accidents every year, and 70% of these falls result in injury. Additionally, 90 percent of fracture incidents in this age group occurs as a result of a fall accident. Therefore, falling is a great risk for elderly individuals in terms of morbidity and mortality.

What can be the causes and consequences of falling?

Stating that falling can occur as a result of both health problems and recklessness at home, Konakoğlu said, “Sometimes, falls can occur due to chronic diseases, side effects of multiple drug use, balance problems, balance coordination problems due to neurological diseases. Even vision problems and the use of assistive devices can cause them to trip and fall. Konakoğlu also listed the health problems that may occur after a slip and fall and said, "Disability, dysfunction, fractures, tissue injuries, consequent restriction of daily living activities and adversely affecting the quality of life of the person are among the problems that may occur as a result of falling."

“We can eliminate the risk factors causing fall accidents”

Konakoğlu underlined that for health problems that cause falls, it is necessary to undergo specialist control, but that precautions can also be taken by making small adjustments, especially at home. Konakoğlu said, “We see that the causes of falls are also risk factors. When we look at these risk factors, we can eliminate them, that means we can prevent them. Causes such as increasing age and the presence of chronic diseases caused by the individual are okay, but increasing the balance and coordination with the supportive trainings we will give to this individual, strengthening their muscles, and supporting it with exercise training programs will reduce the risk of falling. In addition, it is necessary to make arrangements to reduce the risk of falling in the living environment. She concluded her words by saying, "The use of ‘Antislip’ product, which can be applied by everyone in every corner of the house, having lighting in the bathrooms and toilets, installing grab bars and not having slippery and wet floors will reduce the risk of falling.”

Edited date: 06.10.2021
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