||Falls are a
significant cause of death and disability and have a a serious impact to the psychological
and physical health of the elderly.
Falls is a major cause of severe nonfatal injuries and common cause of hospital
admissions (40%) for traumatic injuries among older adults. (Evans, 1996) Falls are also
the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury among older adults . Approximately
30 ~ 50 % of falls result in minor soft tissue injuries (Nevitt et al., 1989). Overall,
20~30% of those who fall suffer from moderate to severe injuries that limit mobility and
independence, even the risk of death (Alexander et al., 1992). The total direct cost of
all fall injuries for people age 65 and older in 1994 was 20.2 billion, and it is
projected to increase to 32.4 billion by 2020.