91. Gait, Balance and Falls

  1. Alan J. Sinclair2,3,
  2. Dr John E. Morley4 and
  3. Professor Bruno Vellas5
  1. Dulce M. Cruz-Oliver

Published Online: 12 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119952930.ch91

Pathy's Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine, Volume 1 & 2, Fifth Edition

Pathy's Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine, Volume 1 & 2, Fifth Edition

How to Cite

Cruz-Oliver, D. M. (2012) Gait, Balance and Falls, in Pathy's Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine, Volume 1 & 2, Fifth Edition (eds A. J. Sinclair, J. E. Morley and B. Vellas), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119952930.ch91

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Postgraduate Medical School, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK

  2. 3

    Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP), Luton, UK

  3. 4

    Saint Louis University School of Medicine and St Louis Veterans' Affairs Medical Center, St Louis, MO, USA

  4. 5

    Gérontopôle, Toulouse University Hospital and INSERM Unit 558, University of Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

Author Information

  1. Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 13 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470683934

Online ISBN: 9781119952930

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Keywords:

  • gait;
  • balance;
  • falls;
  • exercise;
  • instability;
  • dizziness;
  • drop attack;
  • drugs;
  • home hazards;
  • syncope

Summary

Close to one-third of Americans aged 65 years and older living at home and more than half of residents living at nursing homes suffer a fall each year. Similar to many other conditions in the geriatric population, factors that can contribute to falls are multiple, and, very often, more than one of these factors play an important role. Understanding the pathophysiology behind the multiple conditions that predispose to falls is useful for accurately assessing and managing elder fallers. Gait and balance abnormalities influence the ability of individuals to react to environmental and/or organic causes of falls. Questioning patients about falls and observing their gait are important tools for assessment. Depending on the patient's setting different interventions may help reduce fall rate and injury. Specifically, exercise has been proven to be useful in decreasing falls. This chapter summarizes the evidence on clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for instability and falls.