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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2000 Dec;24(6):633-6.

Accidents in older people living at home: a community-based study assessing prevalence, type, location and injuries.

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Hunter Centre for Health Advancement, Locked Bag 10, Wallsend, New South Wales 2287.



To assess the prevalence, type, location of and injuries from home accidents, including falls and other accidents, and to explore whether variables including socio-demographic characteristics, medication use and home hazards were associated with all home accidents and falls.


657 older people were interviewed about accidents in the previous four weeks. For a subsample (n = 425), a home hazard check was completed.


Of the 101 accidents reported, 51% (n = 51) were falls and 50% (n = 50) were other accidents. The most common location for all accidents was outside (30%). Most resulted in minor injury to the legs (43%) or arms (39%). Medical treatment was sought for 14% of accidents. Having more than five hazards and infrequent home visits by healthcare providers were associated with having at least one accident and at least one fall. Use of a walking aid was also associated with falling.


Rates of falls and other accidents are considerable.


Work is required to confirm the importance of the relationships suggested and to provide data on the burden of injury associated with non-fall accidents.

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