Challenges for Prevention of Falls in Older Age

Author:Lacramioara Mocanu
Position:Associate Professor, PhD, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Specialization Psychology, Danubius University of Galati, Romania
Pages:368-373
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2020
368
Challenges for Prevention of Falls in Older Age
Lăcrămioara Mocanu1
Abstract: The background papers that underlie this report refer to a considerable body of evidence indicating
the effectiveness of a number of interventions for falls prevention. These include strength and balance
training, environmental modification and medical car e aimed at removing or reducing specific risk factors by
for example review of medications and reduction of polypharmacy. Falls prevention advice is often perceived
as being for other ‘disabled or elderly people’. Programmes that are perceived to impact negatively on self-
image are likely to be unattractive while those, which are viewed as improving skills or characteristics valued
by older p eople, are likely to be more popular. In interviews older people say that they would participate in
falls-prevention initiatives to be proactive in managing their own health needs, maintain independence and
improve confidence.
Keywords: older age; prevention; polypharmacy
1. Changing Behaviour to Prevent Falls
The background papers that underlie this report refer to a considerable body of evidence indicating the
effectiveness of a number of interventions for falls prevention. These include strength and balance
training, environmental modification and medical care aimed at removing or reducing specific risk
factors by for example review of medications and reduction of polypharmacy. The systematic reviews,
evidence syntheses and meta-analyses are well referenced in the briefing papers to be found at the
following WHO URL: http://www.who.int/ageing/projects/falls_ prevention_older_age/en/index.html.
b) When offering or publicizing interventions, promote benefits that fit with a positive
selfidentity.
It seems that many older people do not acknowledge falls, for example because of fear of:
• negative stereotyping;
• beliefs that falls are an inevitable and unavoidable consequence of ageing;
• embarrassment about loss of control.
Falls prevention advice is often perceived as being for other ‘disabled or elderly people’. Programmes
that are perceived to impact negatively on self-image are likely to be unattractive while those, which
are viewed as improving skills or characteristics valued by older people, are likely to be more popular.
In interviews older people say that they would participate in falls-prevention initiatives to be proactive
in managing their own health needs, maintain independence and improve confidence. (et, 2006).
1 Associate Professor, PhD, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Specialization Psychology, Danubius
University of Galati, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd., 800654 Galati, Romania, Tel.: +40372361102, Fax: +40372361290,
Corresponding author: lacramioaramocanu@univ-danubius.ro.

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