Background: The aging of posture and balance function alters the quality of life in older
people and causes serious problems in terms of public health and socio-economic costs for our
Method: This article reviews the various causes of imbalance and dizziness in the elderly, and
considers how to prevent falls, and how to rehabilitate a faller subject in order to regain a good
quality of life. Two effective ways of intervention are discussed, emphasizing the crucial role of
physical activity and cognitive stimulation, classic or using the latest technical advances in virtual
reality and video games.
Results: Fall in the elderly result from aging mechanisms acting on both the sensorimotor and
cognitive spheres. The structural and functional integrity of the peripheral sensory receptors and the
musculoskeletal system deteriorate with age. The brain ages and the executive functions, memory,
learning, cortical processing of information, sharing of attentional resources and concentration, are
modified in the elderly. Psychological affective factors such as depression, anxiety and stress
contribute also to speed up the sensorimotor and cognitive decline. The rehabilitation of the postural
balance in the elderly must take into account all of these components.
Conclusion: The aging of the population and the increased of lifespan are a challenge for our
modern societies regarding the major health and socio-economic questions they raise. The fall in the
elderly being one of the dramatic consequences of the aging equilibration function, it is therefore
imperative to develop rehabilitation procedures of balance.