Recherche sur le vieillissement en bonne santé

Recherche sur le vieillissement en bonne santé
Libre accès

ISSN: 2261-7434


Falling in older adults with or without visual impairment in community dwellings

Kenneth Nai-Kuen Fong, Billy Ka-Shing Lam, Sophie Wan-Suet Chan, Fean Tsz-Shan Tsang, Vickie Yuk-Ki Wong, Eric Tak-Chung Tam, Tik-Fu Lo

Background: The aims of this work were to study visual impairment among community-dwelling older adults and assess home environments of the elderly with and without visual impairment who had fallen.

Methods: Two hundred seventy-nine older adults were recruited from three community day centers in Hong Kong. Visual acuity and self-reported falls over the preceding 12 months were documented. For those who had fallen indoors, 37 home visits were conducted.

Results: Of the elderly cohort, 15.4% were found to have impaired vision and 29.6% had fallen over the preceding 12 months. While the prevalence of falling in the elderly with impaired vision was similar to those without visual impairment, the visually impaired adults walked more slowly and were not able to reach as far in forward-reaching tests. In the homes of those with visual impairment who had fallen, there was significantly lower light intensity, a greater number of hazards in home hallways and increased use of floor mats compared to those without vision impairments who had fallen.

Conclusions: Older adults with visual impairment did not show a higher incidence of falls, but home safety awareness is important to reduce falls.