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Falls Free
Promoting a National Falls Prevention Action Plan

Common Causes of Falls in the Elderly

- Accident, environmental hazard, fall from bed
- Gait disturbance, balance disorders or weakness, pain related to arthritis
- Vertigo
- Medications or alcohol
- Acute illness
- Confusion and cognitive impairment
- Postural hypotension
- Visual disorder
- Central nervous system disorder, syncope, drop attacks, epilepsy

*--Listed in approximate order of occurrence.
Adapted with permission from Rubenstein LZ. Falls. In: Yoshikawa TT, Cobbs EL, Brummel-Smith K, eds. Ambulatory geriatric care. St. Louis: Mosby, 1993: 296-304.

Drugs that May Increase the Risk for Falling
- Sedative-hypnotic and anxiolytic drugs (especially long-acting benzodiazepines)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Major tranquilizers (phenothiazines and butyrophenones)
- Antihypertensive drugs
- Cardiac medications
- Corticosteroids
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Anticholinergic drugs
- Hypoglycemic agents
- Any medication that is likely to affect balance