Prevent Falls

Let's keep Minnesotans right side up.

Governor Mark Dayton Proclaims September 22, 2013 Fall Prevention Awareness Day

Read the Proclamation

Falls are the leading cause of injury for children and for adults 35-years and older. Falls and fall-related injuries among adults over age 65 are on the rise. Currently Minnesota ranks fifth among states in the number of fall-related deaths. Having a major fall can change one’s life forever. It could mean giving up living a full independent life. Learn the many ways you can keep Minnesotans right side up.

Learn the Risk Factors

Falls are often the result of multiple factors related to the adult and his or her environment.  Studies have shown that the risk of falling increases dramatically as the number of risk factors increases.

Individual Risk Factors

Not Modifiable

Modifiable

Older age

Muscle weakness

Female

Gait and balance problems

Chronic diseases

Vision problems

Mentally impaired

Psychoactive medications

 

Environmental Risk Factors

Not Modifiable

Modifiable

Cold temperatures

Clutter in walkways

Uneven pavement

No stair railings or grab bars

Poor public space designs

Loose rugs

 

Dim lighting 


Get the Facts

Take Action

Screen

A quick proven screening is an easy first step in detecting those at risk and reducing falls and the major injuries that can result from falling. Screening adults is easy and manageable for professionals to do, just by asking the right questions.

Professionals and volunteers should ask the following three questions of any adult on a regular basis.  These three questions have been found to have strong value in predicting falls.

  • Have you fallen in the past year?
  • How many times have you fallen in the past year?
  • Are you afraid of falling?

Assess all the Factors

A multifactorial assessment can identify the factors that put an adult at risk of falling and assist in identifying the interventions to reduce falls. Research has found that many health care providers fail to identify and evaluate adults at risk of falling in their clinical practices.
Wenger and colleagues, found that only 34% of older patients receive any fall evaluation.

An assessment should be performed by a professional with appropriate skills and training (e.g. physician, nurse practioner, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or pharmacist). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

STEADI Toolkit provides assessment tools for professionals.

Provide Resources and Referrals

 

Tools for Health Care and Aging Services Professionals

Tools for Community Based Organizations