ELDERLY FALL PREVENTION
Research on interventions varies between multifactorial studies and single intervention studies. It also varies regarding the setting in which research was conducted. As with screening techniques, the efficacy of various interventions is not well established. The guideline paper, Guideline for the Prevention of Falls in Older Persons summarizes the research available and used expert consensus to develop the algorithm.
Many communities have begun implementing prevention programs. The CDC compiled a list describing these programs. CDC Compendium. This is a link to the VA National Center for Patient Safety Fall Prevention program in the acute care setting.
Prevention strategies from “Guideline for the Prevention of Falls in Older Persons”
Community Dwelling Individuals
- Gait training and advice on appropriate use of assistive devices (walkers, canes, hip protectors)
- Review and modification of medications, especially psychotropics (benzodiazepines, neuroleptics, antidepressants)
- Long-term exercise program emphasizing gait training, balance, strength and endurance
- Treatment of postural hypotension
- Modification of environmental hazards
- Treatment of cardiovascular disorders, including arrhythmias
Long-term Care Facility and Assisted Living
- Gait training and advice on appropriate use of assistive devices
- Staff education programs
- Review and modification of medications, especially psychotropics