Falls Risks in Older Persons, NSW
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NAME OF ORGANISATION
This survey collected information on risk factors associated with falls in persons aged 65 years and over throughout NSW. Information was collected on: risk factors inside and outside the house, home modification, language spoken in the household, ownership of the dwelling, personal lifestyle risk factors, falls history, exposure to advice on how to prevent falls, as well as questions on medical conditions and medicines taken and educational attainment.
This survey provided essential data on risk factors for falls in older people. With Australia's ageing population, health costs associated with falls in older people may escalate if appropriate prevention programs are not developed and implemented. The information was used for the following:-
The survey was conducted for all usual residents of private dwellings aged 65 years and over, except:
Residents of non-private dwellings such as hospitals, motels and jails were excluded from this survey.
In the survey, coverage rules were applied which aimed to ensure that each persons was associated with only one dwelling hence had only one chance of selection in the survey.
Publication: Falls Risk Factors for Persons Aged 65 Years and Over, New South Wales (ABS Cat No. 4393.1)
Standard Classifications were used for Labour Force variables
Sex - male, female
Region - formed by aggregation of standard statistical divisions. Minimum level in publication is Sydney, Balance of NSW
Household type - persons living alone, couple only, other household
Dwelling structure - separate house, semi detached/row or terrace house/townhouse/villa, flat/unit/apartment, other
Age - formed by aggregation of standard 5 year age groupings. Minimum level in publication is 65-74, 75+
Nature of occupancy - Formed by aggregation of tenure type. Minimum level in publication is Owned, rented, other
Classifications for specific medically related variables were provided by the Department of Health
Type of injury received when fallen - superficial abrasion/graze, bruising, cut/laceration/puncture, sprains or strains, fractures, other bone, tendon or joint, other.
Type of medical condition - arthritis, cataracts, other vision problems, diabetes, diagnosed depression, foot problems, heart problems, hearing problems, low blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke, other.
Risk factors inside the home - internal steps or staircases which do not have continuous handrails, handrails not fitted in the bathroom or toilet, inadequate lighting between the bed and the bathroom or toilet at night.
Risk factors outside the home - outside steps or stairs which do not have continuous handrails, places where steps or stairs are slippery or in need of repair, staircases inside the building have insufficient light to see each step as you go down the stairs, any paths that are broken, uneven or slippery, any entrances to the home which do not have outdoor lights, any dark areas such as hallways or corridors which have to be walked through at night before turning on a light.
Other concepts (summary)
A 'fall' is defined as having accidentally lost your balance, tripped or slipped and found yourself on the floor or ground.
Comments and/or Other Regions
It is not planned to run another Falls Risk Factors survey.
Data collected as a NSW State Supplementary Survey in October 1995. Collection run once only and there are currently no plans for a repeat survey.
Data availability comments
Data is available in the publication Falls Risk Factors for Persons Aged 65 Years and Over, New South Wales (ABS Cat No. 4393.1). Customised data services are available to clients on request.
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