Fall prevention among the elderly is a very pertinent topic, as the consequence of falls can have the potential to affect elderly persons physically, psychologically and socially.
How to Manage a High Fall Risk Patient?
• Vision on an annual basis;
• Medication: to look for any link between medication to falls and postural hypotension;
• Postural blood pressure;
• Gait, Balance; and
• Injury risk such as Osteoporosis.
• Proper footwear
• Regular exercise including strength and balance
• Proper use of walking aids
• Environment modification especially for patients with home falls, poor function and visual impairment (i.e. install grab bars, non-slip flooring and lighting)
• Postural hypotension precautions (i.e. getting up slowly and sitting at the edge of the bed for a while, exercising the ankle for 10mins before standing and stabilising oneself before walking).
Resources for Falls Management
TTSH Falls and Balance Clinic provides multidisciplinary fall evaluation for elderly patients with high risk of falls.
• Referral criteria are as follows:
• Ambulant elderly aged 65 years and above
• More than one fall during the past 6 months
Unsteadiness in gait and balance
Enquiry Hotline: 6359 6100
Fax: 6359 6101
• Day Rehabilitation Centre provides rehabilitation and exercise Apply through Agency of Integrated Care website.
• HDB EASE Programme provides installation of grab bars, non-slip flooring and ramps to make flats more elder-friendly. Apply directly to HDB.
• Health Promotion Board provides more resources on Falls Prevention
By Dr Noor Hafizah Bte Ismail, Senior Consultant, Department of Continuing and Community Care, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Nurse Clinician Loo Yen Leng, Fall Care Nurse Clinician, Tan Tock Seng Hospital.