Old Age Falls:

Demystifying the Myths and Improving Nurses’ Awareness of Case-Sensitive Interventions



The myth is that falls are inevitable in old age. Scholarly research indicates that this common assumption is a fallacy that nursing approaches must account for in their approaches towards caring for elderly patients. Increased awareness of the causes of and therapies for old age falls is necessary in improving patient outcomes and reducing susceptibility to additional complications.




We define the issue of old-age frailty as depicted in literature and compare it to the prevalence of incidences of falling [1]. Old-age falls can inhibit individuals’ mobility and contribute to further complications such as joint pans, reduced engagement in physical activity, and an inability to remain upright for long periods among others [2]. Furthermore, the myth can reduce nurses’ ability to provide effective therapies, thereby predisposing the patient to a reduced quality of life [3] [4].



This poster intends to discuss old-age falls as represented in nursing approaches compared to the data availed by a qualitative analysis of real-world data relating to the issue.


Research Question:

Can nurses learn to differentiate between accidental falls and those that indicate the existence of underlying cognitive or mobility-related disorders and develop the appropriate interventions to rehabilitate these individuals?



Peer-reviewed journal articles that discuss the phenomenon of and interventions for old age falls (n=10) underwent analysis as sources of qualitative data. Al-Aama [5] and Salzman [6] ideate that gait and individual postures are the primary indicators of additional complications that require appropriate therapies. Consequently, the author analyzes texts from different peer-reviewed authors to determine the validity of this claim and investigate possible interventions. These served as the primary sources and were subject to further thematic analysis.



The themes that permeated the authors’ findings were:

Links between falls and further complications such as arthritis [7]

Falls less likely in active individuals [8]

Solving these issues increases overall mobility [9]



Research shows that nurses still perceive the issue as a symptom of aging, reducing their capacity to provide effective care in such cases [10]. However, falls are not the direct result of old age and can benefit from interventions developed using approaches incorporating modern technologies and current information



Nurses should focus on enhancing patients’ independent mobility to maintain active engagement in physical activity and improve early warning for old age ailments that contribute to falls.


  1. Mellone, S., Tacconi, C., Schwickert, L., Klenk, J., Beckner, C., & Chiari, L. (2012). Smartphone-based solutions for fall detection and prevention: the FARSEEING approach. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 722-7.
  2. Broglio, S. P., Eckner, J. T., Paulson, H. L., & Kutcher, J. S. (2012). Cognitive decline and aging: the role of concussive and subconcussive impacts. Exercise and Sports Sciences Review, 40(3), 138-44.
  3. Mignardot, J., Deschamps, T., Barrey, E., Auvinet, B., Berrut, G., Cornu, C., . . . de Decker, L. (2014). Gait disturbances as specific predictive markers of the first fall onset in elderly people: a two-year prospective observational study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 1-12.
  4. Gaughan, S., Wallis, M., Pollit, D., Steele, M., Shum, D., & Morris, N. (2014). The effects of multimodal exercise on cognitive and physical functioning and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in older women: a randomised controlled trial. Age and Ageing, 1-6.
  5. Al-Aama, T. (2011). Falls in the elderly: spectrum and prevention. Canadian Family Physician, 771-6.
  6. Salzman, B. (2010). Gait and blance disorders in older adults. American Family Physician, 82(1), 61-68.
  7. Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., Franco, A., Sommer, P., Baeyens, J., Kankowska, E., Maggi, A., . . . Milewicz, A. (2009). European silver paper on the future of health promotion and preventive actions, basic research, and clinical aspects of age-related disease. European Journal of Ageing, 51-57.
  8. Lamb, S. (2014). Permanent personhood or meaningful decline? Toward a critical anthropology of successful aging. Journal of Aging Studies, 41-52.
  9. Lange, B. S., Flynn, S. M., Chang, C. Y., Liang, W., Chieng, C. L., Si, Y., . . . Rizzo, A. A. (2010). Development of an interactive stepping game to reduce falls in the elderly. 8th Intlernational Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality & Associated Technologies, (pp. 223-8). Valparaiso.
  10. Cadore, E. L., Rodrıguez-Manas, L., Sinclair, A., & Izquierdo, M. (2013). Effects of different exercise interventions on risk of falls, gait ability, and balance in physically frail older adults: a systematic review. Rejuvenation Research, 16(2), 105-24.


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