Risk Factors

Risk Factors Research has identified certain risk factors for falls that include:

  • Muscle Weakness
  • Impaired ADLs
  • History of falls
  • Neurologic Deficits
  • Gait deficits
  • Depression
  • Balance Deficits
  • Cognitive Changes
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Age > 80
  • Visual deficits
  • Use of 4 or more medications, psychotropic or anti-arrhythmic
  • Meds, Digoxin or Diuretics
  • Arthritis

 

Clinical practice guidelines were developed by the American Geriatrics Society in collaboration with the British Geriatrics Society in 2001 and later updated the end of 2009. The aim of these guidelines is to assist health care professionals in their assessment of fall risk and their management of older adults who have fallen or are at risk of falling. The complete guidelines can be accessed here

At the minimum, health care providers should be all of their patients 65 and older a series of questions on falls risk:

  • Have you had two or more falls in the past 12 months?
  • Are you presenting with an acute fall?
  • Do you have difficulties in walking or with your balance?

The answers generate an algorithm which can be accessed here