Assessment

What is a fall?

What is a fall?

It is interesting that it is common in clinical care of elderly patients in hospitals or clinics that there is disagreement about whether a patient had or not had a fall. So in clinical practice Fall is defined as coming to rest on a lower level without your intention.

How common it is?

It is very common and research studies have shown that approximately one third of the people aged 65 years or above living in the community will experience a fall each year. Falls in elderly people are a leading cause for not only injury related deaths but also a common cause for hospital admissions.

What are the causes?

In any given patient the increased risk of fall is multi-factorial and only some of these factors are reversible.

Are there any interventions which can reduce the risk of fall and if so is there any evidence and what are they?

In a Cochrane Review published in September 2009 multi-component home based exercises carried out either in groups or by individuals done significantly reduce the rate of falls and also reduced an individual’s risk of falling. Some of other effective strategies include:
  • cataract removal on first affected eye, gradual;
  • withdrawal of anti-psychotic medications, sedatives/hypnotics and also patient-specific modification of medications;
  • safety modifications & behavioural changes at home;
  • Tai-Chi.
At Mediclinic, by providing holistic and personalised care with particular focus on addressing poly-pharmacy we are more likely to be successful in this area.