Residential Care Fall and Fall­-Related Injury Prevention Toolkit

Residents of long‐term care (LTC) facilities are not only more susceptible to falls, but they are also more susceptible to injury. Studies show that the average rate of falls among residents of long‐term care facilities is 1.7 fall per person‐year (Rubinstein, 2006). Compared to older adults who live in the community, residents of LTC facilities fall two to four times more often, and are twice as likely to injure themselves (Lord et al., 2003). Hip fractures occur almost four times more often in residential settings compared to the private home environment (Norton et al., 1998), and less than 15% of facility residents who sustain a hip fracture regain pre‐injury ambulation status (Folman, Gepstein, Assaraf, & Liberty, 1994). In addition, approximately 20% of all fall‐related deaths among older adults occur among the less than 8% of older adults living in residential care settings (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2005; Rubenstein, 1997). In addition to these worrisome statistics, studies have shown that elderly individuals now enter residential care facilities with a more complex clinical profile marked by the presence of multiple coexisting fall risk factors (Evans et al., 1995) that predispose them to even higher rates of falls and related injuries.

The purpose of this toolkit is to describe an approach to prevention planning needed to enact effective fall and injury prevention programs and to provide examples of tools and resources to aid in the development of fall prevention plans.

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