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Falls in Aged Care

Because falls are common in residential aged care there can be a perception among some staff members, residents and family members that falls are inevitable, and that nothing can be done to prevent them. Recent developments in research and practice indicate that a range of actions can be effective in reducing falls and falls-related injuries among older people, including those in residential aged care. This chapter examines the risk factors associated with falls and discusses how effective assessments can lead to interventions that can significantly reduce the incidence of falls in older persons.

Contents include

  • Preventable falls
  • Extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors
  • Falls risk-assessment tool
  • Environmental falls hazard-assessment tool
  • Changing practice
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Author / Editor Biographies

BAppSc (Physiotherapy), GradDip (Physiotherapy) and PhD.
Keith Hill is a physiotherapist with more than 20 years' experience in rehabilitation and aged care. Keith has completed a PhD entitled Balance studies in older people and has published numerous papers in this area. Keith is a senior research fellow at the National Ageing Research Institute and co-director of the falls and balance clinic at the Melbourne Extended Care and Rehabilitation Service in Victoria, Australia. He was recently project manager for a successful multifactorial, multidisciplinary falls-prevention project in residential aged care.
Senior lecturer in allied health at Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
Melissa Lindeman has qualifications in social science, policy studies, and adult education. Before joining the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI, Melbourne, Australia) in 1998, she was employed by the Victorian Department of Human Services in the Aged Care Branch. In her role as a research fellow in NARI's Public Health Division, she worked on a diverse range of projects many of which had a focus on education and workforce development. She joined the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education as senior lecturer in allied health in 2003.
Catherine Barrett is a registered nurse with particular expertise in the care of people with gastrostomy tubes. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing science and certificates in gerontic nursing, advanced management, sexual and reproductive health, and assessment and workplace training. Catherine has been working in aged care since 1982 as a nurse unit manager, an external assessor for the Standards and Accreditation Agency, a veterans' project officer, and a consultant nurse for the National Ageing Research Institute (Australia). Catherine's doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne ...
BAppSc (Occupational Therapy), GradDip Ger, MPH.
Robyn Smith is an experienced public health researcher, and an aged care occupational therapist. She currently manages the development of allied health research for Northern Health and was formerly the director of public health at the National Ageing Research Institute (both in Melbourne, Australia). Her main research interests focus on fostering sustainable change and the application of research evidence in health and residential aged care.

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