Introduction Older adult (OA) falls are a major public health problem being a main cause of disability and morbidity (30% of prevalence around the world), involving an extensive use of health services, and higher costs. Latin American data (2000) show higher prevalence of multiple falls among Chilean (20.3%) and Mexican (19.5%) elders than in the Region (10%–15%). In Chile (2006), major part of the accident among elderly occurs at home (56%). The aim is to study the association between risks factors at home and falls among Chilean OP.
Methods Data are from National-Survey-of-Dependency-Chilean-OP. 4762 representative sample community dwelling adults 61–101 y (38.8% men; 18% rural) were interviewed in 2009/2010. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate association between falls and risks factors at home.
Results Falls prevalence in the last year is 27.7% (CI 25.4 to 30.1); higher among women (31.9%; CI 28.6 to 35.4), and those with poor eyesight (31.4%; CI 28.4 to 34.6). Falls risks factors most present at home were insufficient light (94.5%; CI 92.7 to 95.8) lack of handle in the toilette (89.3%; CI 87.5 to 90.9), and in the shower (81.9%; CI 78.7 to 84.7). Around 40% of the interviewed perceived the need to have a handle in both toilette and shower. After adjusting by age (OR=1.01; p=0.003), being female (OR=1.77; p<0.001), living in rural-area (OR=1.14; p=0.117), poor eyesight (OR=1.39; p<0.001); falls were significant associated to insufficient light at home (OR=1.44; p=0.021); and the perception of need handle in the shower (OR=1.29; p=0.026) and toilette (OR=1.40; p=0.004).
Conclusion Prevention recommendations for falls among noninstitutionalized OP not only should include reduction of hazards (such as insufficient light) but also the installation at their homes of devices to avoid falls.
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