The Importance of Fall Risk Assessment

It is common for seniors to experiences falls in the home.  More often than not, these incidents result in injury.  However, some people are more at risk than others.  How would you know if you or your loved one is at risk?  You can find out through a risk assessment.  This assessment allows a person to determine if he or she is at risk, and consequently do what can be done to prevent it.

There are two kinds of risk assessment when it comes to falls in the home.  One is the brief risk assessment and the other is the comprehensive risk assessment.  The former allows a person to know if he or she would require the latter.  A brief risk assessment can be performed by individuals without assistance from physicians or nurses, but only doctors and registered nurses with specific skills can perform the comprehensive risk assessment.

If you want to know if you or a loved one is at risk, consider the following factors in a brief risk assessment: history of one or more falls in the past that may or may not have needed medical intervention; lower limb disability, weakness in the lower extremity, lack of physical activity, memory problems and a prescription of four or more medications.

Meanwhile, a comprehensive fall assessment would cover the following: review of past falls and their circumstances, evaluation of muscle strength and impairments in mobility, visual disorders, a cardiovascular exam and a review of medications the person is currently taking.