Risk factors of fall in elderly people
Falls are the leading accidental cause of death among elderly people in their homes. Falls and their consequences are the primary reason in 40% of admissions to hospitals for people older than 65 years. The study population consisted of 77 randomly selected patients of both genders older then 65 years. Each patient was tested in his/her home and was completely informed about the methodology and the goals of investigation. Based on the exclusion criteria, three patients were excluded from the study, which means the investigation was conducted on 27 males (35.06%) and 50 females (64.94%) with the average age being 71.23 ± 5.63 years.
For each patient, a specially prepared questionnaire about risk factors was filled in. The sum of affirmative answers represented a relative index of fall risk. All patients were evaluated through Folstein’s Mini-Mental State Examination Test that is suitable for on-sight use in patient’s home. The score value over 20 excludes dementias, delirium, schizophrenia and affective disorders.
Considering the values of the risk factor, scores obtained by the questionnaire and MMSE test scores, statistically significant differences were found between males and females (p < 0.005, respectively p < 0.01), “fallers” and “non-fallers” (p < 0.001, respectively p < 0.01), while considering the relation to the way of living (alone or with family), there were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05).