Falls are frequent among elderly people, and are a still-underestimated medical problem with respect to causes and consequences. The present epidemiological study describes the experience from a 79-bed nursing home in the city of Zürich, regarding frequency, circumstances and consequences of falls. Over half of residents of the studied nursing home fell at least once during the study period of one year, and one third even suffered 3 or more falls. Dizziness, tripping and slipping were among the reasons given for falling. However, in one third of the cases the person involved was not able to specify the cause of the fall. Every fifth fall to injury or fracture, and every tenth fall to fall-related pain. The fall-related overall morbidity therefore amounted to 35.3%.