Accidental falls are one of the leading causes of injury death in people over 65 worldwide, but for a long time researchers have struggled to understand just how they happen.
What they do know is that many older patients have cognitive impairment, and even the most conscientious medical staff can have trouble remembering details of a fall. So a group of researchers in British Columbia decided to use a round-the-clock video in a long-term care facility to observe accidental falls right as they happen.
Their study, published in the The Lancet, found that most of the 227 falls caught on video happened because the patients lost their balance, not because they slipped or tripped.
But what causes this momentary loss of balance?