Reducing the number of falls in long term care facilities is a goal for everyone. Current strategies to reduce falls typically include complex, multicomponent interventions requiring significant resources, staff time, and resident education. To be sure, these measures help mitigate the risk and reduce the number of falls at nursing homes and senior care facilities; but there is one novel approach that has been theorized over the last decade that has been recently validated through research and come to light.
It is important for physicians, staff, and families to find creative ways for residents to stay on the move.
September 22, 2018, the first day of fall, marks the 10th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
Falls are the leading cause of injury related emergency department visits for older adults, the major cause of hip fractures, and responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries. Numerous states and countries worldwide are now coalescing to address this growing public health issue; many are working closely with occupational therapy practitioners as key contributors to reducing falls.
This year’s theme, Take a Stand to Prevent Falls, seeks to unite professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members to play a part in raising awareness and preventing falls in the older adult population. 48 states participated in Falls Prevention Awareness Day last year, joining more than 70 national organizations, including the American Occupational Therapy Association, other professional associations, and federal agencies that comprise the Falls Free© Initiative. If your organization participates in a falls prevention activity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you are counted by NCOA.
For a list of free resources, including the Falls Prevention Toolkit, go to
Each year, on average, about 3 percent of patients fall in a U.S. hospital. About one-third of the falls result in injury, with an average cost of $14,000 per patient, said Katherine Jones, Ph.D., associate professor in the UNMC Division of Physical Therapy Education.