Once a Faller Always a Faller

Angie Szumlinski Health

In a presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 2021 Annual Meeting, researchers identified that people with a history of falls were more likely to experience another fall in a few months post-fall. The ACSM’s Guidelines of Exercise Testing and Prescription recommend that older adults perform aerobic exercise days a week and that they supplement this with 2 days of flexibility and resistance training.

In the study, 615 patients (mean age, 80 years; range, 71 to 89 years; 72% women) were admitted to a level 1 trauma center for a fall-related injury over a 1-year period. The study revealed that past falls increased the likelihood that patients would fall again. This held true after controlling for factors such as cognitive decline and balance problems. Another analysis revealed that each additional previous fall was associated with nearly a 95% increased risk for future falls.

This study highlights a very important fact. If you have a resident with a history of falls, they will likely fall again. Have you educated family members on this and shared what you are doing to assist in preventing significant injury related to a fall? Another thought, when was the last time your high-risk residents participated in a restorative nursing program for ambulation and transfers? Don’t miss the boat on restorative care, it can assist your team while strengthening your residents! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!