Dementia Care Site Map
Dementia Falls Prevention pathway

 

Falls Prevention for People Living With Dementia Assessment Service Pathway

 

People with a cognitive impairment are more at risk from falls than the general population. The reasons for this include:

  • aspects of the neurological condition,
  • perceptual difficulties, agitation, gait disorders,
  • unrecognised falls risk factors
  • risk taking behaviours associated with reduced cognitive function.

 

On average, over a twelve month period, half of all people living with dementia in the community have one or more falls. A person with dementia who falls five times is more likely to be admitted into residential aged care facilities than others who have not fallen.

 

To minimise this risk it is important that as part of the initial diagnostic assessment, people be screened for balance and risk of falls. If the screen indicates the person is at high risk of falls then a referral should be made to an appropriate allied health professional for:

 

  • A detailed balance and falls risk assessment and,
  • The provision of a personalised exercise program.
  • Identification of a carer to assist the person with their exercises.

 

Individual exercise programs will be monitored by a health professional to meet individual's changing health requirements.

 

Emerging evidence suggest that exercise programs for people in the early stages of dementia can help slow functional  decline and reduce the risk of falling. Timely referral into a falls prevention program will enable people living with dementia to remain healthier, fitter and more active overtime including decreasing their rate of hospitalisation for a fall related injury.

 

Follow the links below to dementia falls prevention pathway overview and full pathway. Falls prevention resource materials are also provided.