|Title||The Relationship between Fall Severity, Residential Adjustment, Functional Status, and Future Falls among Community Living Older Adults|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|University||University of Massachusetts|
|Keywords||Disabilities, Health Conditions and Status, Housing|
Accidental falls are common, yet costly events among older adults which have been associated with an increased risk of disability, institutionalization, and death. As the population continues to age, the number of older adults at risk of falling is predicted to increase unless strategies are implemented to limit the risk of falling. While previous studies have explored the relationship between fall history, future fall risk, and disability there have been limited studies that have incorporated the number of falls experienced along with the occurrence of an injury and compared the outcome of these fall groups to older adults with no fall history. The objective of this quantitative study was to expand the current research and explore the longitudinal relationship between fall severity, future fall risk, and future disability among community-living older adults using the Health and Retirement Study. Additionally, this study also explored the longitudinal relationship between fall history and the decision to make residential adjustments. The study concluded that over a two year period, fall history was significant in predicting future fall risk and disability status. As baseline fall status increases in severity, the predicted probability of no future fall decreases and the predicted probability of multiple falls and/or an injurious fall increases. Experiencing multiple non-injurious falls over a two year period at baseline was associated with a subsequent ADL or IADL disability, while an injurious fall was associated with a subsequent functional limitation and ADL or IADL disability. Similarly, fall history was significant in predicting the decisions to make residential adjustments. The decision to make any residential adjustment is significant among those reporting one or more falls and at least one injurious fall, compared to non-fallers. Experiencing at least one injurious fall was the only fall history variable associated with the type of adjustment made. More specifically, persons who experienced at least one injurious fall were more likely to increase their subsequent use of personal care or adaptive equipment. The results of this study support early detection and prevention of fall risk as a strategy to decrease risk of future falls, disability, and support older adults living in the community.
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|Short Title||The Relationship between Fall Severity, Residential Adjustment, Functional Status, and Future Falls among Community Living Older Adults|