Is there a guideline based approach to the falling older patient?

The Bottom Line: Among the most common and serious problems facing elderly persons, falls are associated with considerable mortality, morbidity, reduced functioning, and untimely admission to nursing homes. Falls, predominately result from a multitude of risk factors and situations, many which can are correctable .

Guideline for the prevention of falls in older persons. American Geriatrics Society, British Geriatrics Society, and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Panel on Falls Prevention. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2001 vol:49 iss:5 pg:664 -672

The fall evaluation is an assessment that includes: History of fall circumstances, medications, acute or chronic medical problems, and level of mobility; examination of vision, gait and balance, and joint function of the lower extremities; exam of basic neurological function, including mental status, muscle strength, lower extremity peripheral nerves, proprioception, reflexes, tests of cortical, extrapyramidal, and cerebellar function; and assessment of basic cardiovascular status including heart rate and rhythm, postural pulse and blood pressure and, if applicable, heart rate and blood pressure responses to carotid sinus stimulation.

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