Senior man looking out the window

Falls history, dementia among top predictors of fall-related hospitalisations

Published: 21 December 2021
  • national
  • 21 December 2021
  • Ageing Agenda

The study, published in BMC Geriatrics, examined the individual, system, medication and health care related factors of new aged care residents to determine predictors of fall-related hospitalisations.

It also developed risk a risk assessment tool using integrated aged and health care data to help predict the likelihood of a fall within 90 days and one year.

The study looked at the data of 32,316 aged care residents aged 65 years or over who permanently entered an aged care home between January 2008 and December 2016.

Lead researcher Professor Maria Inacio said the study found around 4 per cent of residents had a fall-related hospitalisation within three months of entering the facility and 10 per cent of residents had one within a year.

“We really wanted to identify the point that somebody is entering care and whether we can determine what their risk of having these events are in the next year,” Professor Inacio told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Professor Inacio said the study identified 20 common predictors of fall-related hospitalisations within 90 days of entering aged care.

“The common variables are an individual’s past fracture history, their history of falls, and also their diagnosis of dementia,” said Professor Inacio, director of the Registry of Senior Australians at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and adjunct research professor at the University of South Australia.

These three also topped the 27 predictors the study identified for fall-related hospitalisation within a year of entering aged care, although in a different order with dementia most common followed by history of falls and history of fractures.

Professor Inacio said the findings highlight opportunities to minimise the risks of fall-related hospitalisations for new residents.