Fall Prevention in Long-term Care: Practical Advice to Improve Care



Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2008;8(3) 

In This Article

The Bottom Line

Falls are the cause of significant injury and disability among older adults. In the long-term care setting, residents are likely to have more than 1 risk factor for falls. Only by assessing the unique strengths, risks, and preferences of each individual can falls be reduced. By providing a safe environment for all residents and developing individualized care plans, many falls can be prevented. As with every patient, needs will change over time. Continuous observations for even subtle functional changes should guide revision of the fall prevention or injury prevention care plan. Reassessment of fall risk should be done at least every 3 months for long-term care residents. When falls occur, the postfall assessment will often identify new risk factors and will suggest new interventions to prevent the next fall. Every care plan should accommodate the individual elder's preferences while balancing the safety goals with the goal of maintaining the highest level of independent function and mobility.


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