Background Fall injuries are a growing global health problem in older adults. Compelling scientific evidence shows that every third fall can be prevented. Effective measures need to be based on knowledge of individual fall risk. This underscores importance of fall risk screening. In Finland, risk screening and preventive measures are not used systematically. Thus, implementation of evidence-based methods for communities is necessary. In the present economic situation, resources of the third (voluntary and non-profit) sector (NGOs) should also be utilised.
Objective The main objective of KaatumisSeula® project is to create local models for fall risk screening and implementing evidence-based preventive measures. The models are based on co-operation between local public sector and NGOs. Primary risk screening is offered for older people by public sector and NGOs. People with high fall risk are referred to comprehensive assessment of individual fall risk and tailored implementation of fall prevention measures by educated health care professional(s). This approach is based on the multifactorial Chaos Falls Clinic Study. NGOs play a central role in not only screening but also informing about fall prevention measures and offering accessible balance and strength training - the most effective single intervention in fall prevention.
Results The project models are now in operation in 2 municipalities, and the third is starting. NGOs are active and keen in their role. Two Falls Clinics have started and high risk older adults have found their ways to the multifactorial assessment. Public sector and NGOs have received education. New exercise groups have been established and fall prevention materials have been given. So far, the most challenging task has been implementation of systematic fall screening for public sector.
Conclusions KaatumisSeula® is a feasible approach to screen the fall risk of older adults and implement preventive measures in community.
- Fall prevention
- Injurious falls