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Gerontologist. 2011 Apr;51(2):190-200. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnq086. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Does fall history influence residential adjustments?

Author information

1
Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA. natalie_leland%20@brown.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY:

To determine whether reported falls at baseline are associated with an older adult's decision to make a residential adjustment (RA) and the type of adjustment made in the subsequent 2 years.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

Observations (n = 25,036) were from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative sample of community-living older adults, 65 years of age and older. At baseline, fall history (no fall, 1 fall no injury, 2 or more falls no injury, or 1 or more falls with an injury) and factors potentially associated with RA were used to predict the initiation of an RA (i.e., moving, home modifications, increased use of adaptive equipment, family support, or personal care assistance) during the subsequent 2 years.

RESULTS:

Compared with those with no history of falls, individuals with a history of falls had higher odds of making any RA. Among those making an RA, individuals with an injurious fall were more likely than those with no history of a fall to start using adaptive equipment or increase their use of personal care assistance.

IMPLICATIONS:

The higher initiation of RAs among fallers may indicate proactive steps to prevent future falls and may be influenced by interactions with the health care system. To optimize fall prevention efforts, older adults would benefit from education and interventions addressing optimal use of RAs before falls occur.

PMID:
21047971
PMCID:
PMC3106369
DOI:
10.1093/geront/gnq086
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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