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. 2002;30(1):54-61.

Falls Among Frail Older People in Residential Care

  • PMID: 11928835

Falls Among Frail Older People in Residential Care

Jane Jensen et al. Scand J Public Health. .


Aims: A prospective study was carried out to investigate the incidence, circumstances, and injuries from falls among frail older people living in three different types of Swedish residential care settings.

Methods: The settings were senior citizens' apartments, an old people's home, and a group dwelling for people with dementia. The falls were registered during the three-year study period on a semi-structured fall report, and injurious falls were categorized according to severity.

Results: In total 428 falls occurred among 121 residents. The incidence rate of falls at the group dwelling was twice the rates of the old people's home and senior citizens' apartments (4282 compared with 1709 and 2114 falls per 1000 person-years respectively). Some 27% of the falls occurred during the night (2100h to 0600h) and 28% were related to a visit to the lavatory. The presence of acute disease at the time of a fall was diagnosed in 23% of the falls. Some type of injury occurred in 118 falls (28%) and 36 of these (8%) led to moderate or serious injuries. In total 48 fractures were diagnosed.

Conclusions: In a preventive programme for falls and injuries in residential care settings, areas of particular interest should include falls after mealtimes and falls at night, conditions of acute diseases, rising up from sitting, walking, and activities in progress, especially visits to the lavatory.

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