Chapter 1: Facts About Falls
How frequent are falls?
Falling is one of the most common problems in nursing homes. 50% to 75% of residents fall every year. Up to 40% of residents who fall do so repeatedly.
Compared with older people living in the community, nursing home residents experience a greater number of falls. There are several reasons for this.
- First of all, nursing home residents are generally frailer. They tend to have more mental problems and have greater limitations in their activities of daily living. They also tend to have more chronic illnesses, be more physically dependent, and have a higher frequency of walking and balance issues, all factors that are associated with falling.
- Second, many residents admitted to the nursing home were falling at home. In fact, falling is one of the leading reasons for admitting someone into a nursing home. About 50% of nursing home admissions have a history of falls. The chances of falling are increased with admission to a nursing home, and the risk is especially great in those residents with previous falls at home.
A past history of falling is one of the strongest predictors of future falls.