Falls in Older Persons: Risk Factors and Prevention

Through the course of research evolution, it is important to have a firm understanding of where certain findings/papers originated. While most references of recent papers keep their citations within the past 5-10 years, a few articles, books, etc stand the test of time and are utilized far beyond a typical expiration date.


These foundational studies help craft the future of clinical application and procedure allowing for elongated examination on various forms of effectiveness in the patient populations served.


"The Second Fifty Years: Promoting Health and Preventing Disability", specifically in Chapter 15, "Falls in Older Persons: Risk Factors and Prevention", a consistent outcome is reported that we continually see in both policy and research 20+ years later.


In this chapter, it is identified that falls are a key element in injury and diminished functional participation including fear of falling, decreased ADL participation, and loss of mobility. Additionally, most injuries to the elderly, including fractures of the hip, humerus, pelvis, etc are the result of the combined effect of a fall and osteoporosis.


As healthcare professionals, we are often tasked with repairing the results of a fall, yet are missing key components in examination, screening and assessment that could provide vital insight into preventing the occurrence of a future fall, such as those stemming from syncope, abnormal postural cardiac responses VS those that are mechanical in nature.


Fall are often times multifactorial in underlying causes and should be treated as such. Evidence is overwhelming on the importance of using assessments that examine multiple areas of risk as a baseline to mitigate the risks identified. Without the assessment-to-intervention framework, there becomes an element of "guessing" or "hoping" that the specific intervention has a positive effect. A class, for instance is beneficial, but not beneficial to all for instance...so how do we identify those who it would be beneficial for with concrete support?


Safe Balance acts as your "eyes and ears" in this framework and has showcased itself as a vital tool in assisting providers in identifying applicable risk factors and an evidence-based pathway of mitigation. Even from a decade plus ago, research established and continues to establish the success of this model in caring for those most vulnerable.


Check out the link to the entire article here for additional information and inquire how you can bring Safe Balance into your provision of service today here!


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