Improving falls programs for people around the world

Improving falls programs for people around the world

FFN is happy to share the resources on falls provided in a recent publication in Age and Aging, the scientific journal of the British Geriatric Society. The World Guidelines for Falls Prevention and Management for Older Adults: A Global Initiative were developed by the World Falls Task Force, which included 96 experts from 39 countries in five continents. These individuals had a multidisciplinary background representing 36 scientific and academic societies. Input to the guidelines was accessed from clinicians, patients and carers through a 3-year period.  

The document was written for healthcare professionals working with older adults. It provides a framework on how to identify and assess the risk of falls as well as the treatments that are effective on a one on one basis or in a group format.  

Falls are a problem around the globe and the risk of falling increases with age from 30% a year when people are 65 to a 50% chance of falling when over 80 years old. The effects of falls can be physical injury that leads to pain and injury but can also include psychological problems such as loss of confidence and depression. These symptoms can lead to loss of independence and even increased mortality.  

Professor Cathie Sherrington, who is the FFN lead for the Physiotherapy Special Interest Group and was one of the experts involved with the guideline development said “these guidelines are written in a practical way to help clinicians around the world assess and manage older patients who are at an increased risk of falls”. 

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