Clinical Practice Guidelines

Fall Risk Screening

Fall risk screening identifies older adults at increased risk of falls who may need a more detailed multifactorial fall risk assessment and intervention, which can in turn help to prevent falls and fall-related injury.

 

Falls screening tools are sensitive, brief, and easy to complete assessments that attempt to identify individuals at a higher than average risk for falling who would likely benefit from a more in-depth evaluation.

Results can be numerical with a cut-off score or categorical where those tested are ranked as being at LOW, MEDIUM, and HIGH RISK.

Screening for fall risk

Patient scores ≥4 on the Staying Independent brochure

OR

Patient answers YES to any of the 3 key questions:

    1. Fell in the past year?

          -If YES ask, How many times? Were you injured?

    2. Feels unsteady when standing or walking?

    3. Worries about falling? 

While screening tools have been used to predict a general level of risk for falling, they do not accurately predict which people will actually fall or give much information about what can be done to decrease the risk of falling.

Certain screening tools such as the Staying Independent Checklist provide the ability for seniors to self-assess their risk for falls. Keep in mind that these validated tools can also be used as a means to encourage a discussion around falls.

Next Step:

If the patient score on the Staying Independent brochure or if the patient answers YES to any of the key questions, proceed with Evaluating Gait, Strength and Balance.

OR

If the patient score < 4 on the Staying Independent brochure or if patient answers NO to all key questions,

provide individualized interventions for an older patient at LOW RISK for falls.

Resources

 

  • Algorithm for Fall Risk Screening, Assessment and Intervention

  • Staying Independent - Self Screening Tool

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 Senior Line 

 

The toll-free Seniors Information Line provides  a traditional method of speaking with a bilingual, customer-service oriented telephone agent. For basic information on government programs and services for seniors, their families 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, immediately call  911  or visit your local emergency department.

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