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Evaluation of older people's knowledge, awareness, motivation and perceptions about falls and falls prevention in residential aged care homes: a tale of two cities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 June 2018

Jacqueline Francis-Coad*
Affiliation:
School of Physiotherapy, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Australia
Tessa Watts
Affiliation:
Department of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK
Christopher Etherton-Beer
Affiliation:
School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia
Gerwyn Panes
Affiliation:
Department of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK
Howard Griffiths
Affiliation:
Department of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK
Michelle Anderson
Affiliation:
Department of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK
Tracy Williams
Affiliation:
Department of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK
Beth Griffiths
Affiliation:
Department of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK
Debbie Nobre
Affiliation:
Brightwater Care Group, Osborne Park, Australia
Anne-Marie Hill
Affiliation:
School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
*Corresponding
*Corresponding author. Email: jacqui.francis-coad@nd.edu.au

Abstract

Falls prevention strategies can only be effective in reducing falls amongst older people if they are adopted and enacted in their daily lives. There is limited evidence identifying what older people in residential aged care (RAC) homes understand about falls and falls prevention, or what may limit or enable their adoption of strategies. This study was conducted in two countries and explored older people's knowledge and awareness of falls and their preferences, opportunities and motivation to undertake falls prevention strategies. A cross-sectional survey was administered to participants (N = 70) aged 65 years and over, living in six RAC homes in Perth, Australia and six RAC homes in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. Participants had limited knowledge about intrinsic falls risk factors and strategies to address these and frequently expressed self-blame regarding falling. Almost all (N = 67, 95.7%) participants felt highly motivated to maintain their current functional mobility and independence in everyday tasks. Key preferences for receiving falls prevention messages favoured a positive approach promoting wellness and independence (N = 41, 58.6%) via pictorial posters or brochures (N = 37, 52.9%) and small group discussions preferably with demonstrations (N = 18, 25.7%). Findings from this study may assist organisations and staff to more effectively engage with older people living in RAC about falls prevention and design targeted resources to address the motivations and preferences of this population.

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Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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