Clinical Practice Guidelines

Individualized Fall Prevention Interventions - LOW RISK PATIENT

Key Recommendations

  • Studies have shown a beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation in fall prevention distinct from its effect on bone health.

  • Vitamin D deficiency contributes to impaired muscle strength and neuromuscular function.

  • Education of older patients and caregivers is important for implementation and sustained use of fall prevention strategies

  • Prochaska and DiClemente's Stages of Change Model can be used to facilitate conversations with older patients and assist with their acceptance of fall prevention strategies such as exercising regularly and making home safety modifications.

  • In addition to providing verbal information, effective education efforts include opportunities to obtain fall prevention resources in the older patient's language and format of choice.            (e.g. links for electronic copies, giving printed handouts)

  • We encourage you to refer your older patients to this website for access to electronic copies of our fall prevention resources which are available in both official languages.

Individualized Interventions 

LOW RISK

  • Assess vitamin D intake:

    • Recommend calcium rich foods and daily​ vitamin D supplement  +/- calcium, if deficient

  • Provide relevant fall prevention information and handouts

  • Encourage the completion of the Home Safety Checklist

  • Reassess yearly or if the patient presents with any significant change in health status

AND

Recommend 150 minutes of

physical activity per week which includes muscle and bone strengthening activities at least twice a week to help with posture and balance

OR

Refer the patient to a community exercise-based fall prevention program

Addressing Home Hazards

  • Older patients should be encouraged to complete their Home Safety Checklist along with its accompanying Personal Action Plan checklist to help identify and manage some of the most common hazards in and around the home.

  • Some patients may need to contact the Toll-Free Seniors Information Line to request a Seniors Health, Well-being and Home Safety Review in their home. This review is necessary to determine if a person qualifies for available financial assistance for home repairs that improve home safety such as the Senior Minor Home Repairs Grant.

Physical Activity

 

  • Exercise in the form of strength training and balance, gait and coordination training may be considered as a single intervention. However, studies show that exercise may be more effective when applied alongside other interventions. 

  • Be prepared to evaluate if your older patient is able to participate in their chosen exercise program before becoming more physically active. Once confirmed, encourage them to consult the available Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults and the Active Aging in New Brunswick toolkit for information to help them get started the right way.

  • Certain older adults at higher risk for falls may benefit more from participating in a specific type of physical activity program which focuses on improving mobility, balance and coordination to help prevent falls.

  • For more information about available exercise-based fall prevention programs within New Brunswick, please click on the following link.

Next Step:

Reassess yearly or if the older patient presents with any significant change in health status

Resources

 

  • Algorithm for Fall Risk Screening, Assessment and Intervention
    • Developed by NB Trauma​

  • Fall Risk Factors Checklist

    • Developed by NB Trauma​

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The information contained on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your primary care provider or a qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, or before beginning any exercise program.

Toll-Free Seniors Information Line 

 

The toll-free Seniors Information Line provides a traditional method of speaking with a bilingual, customer-service oriented telephone agent. For basic information about provincial programs and services for older adults, their family and caregivers please contact:

1-855-550-0552

Tele-Care 

 

If you or someone you know requires non-urgent health advice or information, call Tele-Care. A registered nurse will assess your needs and provide information, education and/or advice as required. For access to this confidential and bilingual toll-free telephone service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week please dial:

8-1-1

For medical emergencies, call  911  immediately or visit your local emergency department.

FINDING BALANCE NB © 2016 - FINDING BALANCE CANADA, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NB TRAUMA PROGRAM | UNDER LICENSE FROM THE INJURY PREVENTION CENTER.