Geriatrics and Fall Prevention

Maria Tony and Alex Rahe

Healthy People 2020 Objective

"Reduce the rate of emergency department (ED) visits due to falls among older adults," (U.S. Department of Health).

What You Need To Know

  • "A fall is an unexpected event in which the participant comes to rest on the ground, floor, or lower level" (ProFaNE 2006).
  • "Falls are not only associated with morbidity and mortality in the older population, but are also linked to poorer overall functioning and early admission to long-term care facilities," (Journal 2011).
  • "Not all falls can be prevented and actions to reduce risk of harm can be put into place," (Nazarko 2012).
  • YOU can prevent falls! Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your safety and independence!

What May Increase A Risk For Falls?

  • the use of canes, walkers, or other assistive devices
  • cognitive impairments: dementia, slower processing of information
  • visual impairments: glasses, cataracts, glaucoma
  • urinary urgency
  • high-risk medications that may cause dizziness or drowsiness: discuss your meds with your health care provider
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  • Decreased risk for injury
  • Decreased fear of falling
  • Increased independence
  • Increase self confidence
  • Increased mobility
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What Can You Do To Decrease Your Risk?

  • Increase exercise which helps to increase bone density and muscle mass
  • Increase your intake of Vitamin D to aid in muscle mass
  • Assess your environment; are there hazards in your home that may make you fall?
  • Wear proper footwear; i.e. no flip-flops
  • Manage your postural hypotension
  • Stay up to date on current fall prevention strategies
  • Ask for help!!!

What Community Resources May You Need?

  • Meals on Wheels
  • Life Alert
  • Church Groups
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  • Nazarko, L. (2012). How to reduce risk of injury if a person remains at risk of falls. British Journal Of Healthcare Assistants, 6(9), 432-437 6p.
  • Prevention of Falls Network Europe (ProFaNE) (2006). Retrieved April 19, 2007, from Evidence Level VI
  • Summary of the updated American Geriatrics Society/British Geriatrics Society clinical practice guideline for prevention of falls in older persons. (2011). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59(1), 148-157 10p. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03234.x
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Older Adults. Retrieved February 06, 2016, from


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