Falls prevention

Falls are three times more common among care home residents than people of similar age living in the community, but new research published by the British Medical Journal has shown a way to achieve significant improvements.

Pip Logan and colleagues (BMJ 7 December) developed and tested the Guide to Action Care Home (GtACH) programme, in which all care home staff undertook one hour of falls prevention training and take any necessary action to reduce falls risks afterwards.  Residents in 84 care homes took part, two-thirds of whom had dementia.

The GtACH programme was associated with a statistically significant reduction in fall rates up to six months from the start of the study as well as fewer bone fractures among those taking part.

“We consider that training 71% of care home staff was a success, given that such staff often work part time or out of office hours, and given the extent of staff turnover in the care home sector,” say the authors.