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Immediate fall prevention: the missing key to a comprehensive solution for falling hazard in older adults.

The world is witnessing an unprecedented demographic shift due to increased life expectancy and declining birth rates. By 2050, 20% of the global population will be over 60, presenting significant challenges like a shortage of caregivers, maintaining health and independence, and funding extended retirement. The technology that caters to the needs of older adults and their caregivers is the most promising candidate to tackle these issues. Although multiple companies and startups offer various aging solutions, preventive technology, which could prevent trauma, is not a big part of it. Trauma is the leading cause of morbidity, disability, and mortality in older adults, and statistics constitute traumatic fall accidents as its leading cause. Therefore, an immediate preventive technology that anticipates an accident on time and prevents it must be the first response to this hazard category to decrease the gap between life expectancy and the health/wellness expectancy of older adults. The article outlines the challenges of the upcoming aging crisis and introduces falls as one major challenge. After that, falls and their mechanisms are investigated, highlighting the cognitive functions and their relation to falls. Moreover, since understanding predictive cognitive mechanisms is critical to an effective prediction-interception design, they are discussed in more detail, signifying the role of cognitive decline in balance maintenance. Furthermore, the landscape of available solutions for falling and its shortcomings is inspected. Finally, immediate fall prevention, the missing part of a wholesome solution, and its barriers are introduced, and some promising methodologies are proposed.

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