Sub-Project C:  Characterizing Predictors of Falls in the Long-Term Care Setting

Research team: Andrew Sixsmith (co-leader), Teresa Liu-Ambrose (co-leader), Victoria Claydon, Habib Chaudhury, Fabio Feldman, Joanie Sims-Gould, Stephen Robinovitch 

In this Sub-project we are exploring the risk factors for falls in LTC. In particular, we are looking at how the falls are influenced by the complex interaction of factors such as the person's physical and cognitive status, medication use, use of assistive devices, and features of the physical and social environment. To assess intrinsic factors we are conducting a battery of physiological and cognitive measures based on recent pilot work at the LTC facilities. These include measures of postural stability, gait speed, coordination, cognitive function and cardiovascular status. To assess extrinsic factors in falls, we are using video data, interviews, case notes and observation to determine the role of LTC design features, movable objects (chairs etc) as well as the role of the social and care context. The project combines quantitative and qualitative methods to obtain a holistic picture of the factors that influence falls and to use these insights to develop and evaluate preventative interventions.