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Information for Adults

Fear of Falling

Fear of falling is a lasting concern about falling that can lead to an individual avoiding activities that he/she remains capable of performing (Tinetti and Powell, 1993).

Studies have found that the fear of a fall can influence the probability of falling. The fear of falling can occur even if someone has never had a fall. The fear of falling can affect an older adult’s confidence in his or her physical abilities, which may cause the individual to avoid everyday activities. Over time, avoiding everyday activities can lead to muscle weakness, which is a primary risk factor for falling.

If an adult has a fear of falling, consider the following:

Recommend visit to primary care provider or nurse practitioner to discuss fear of falling.

Encourage adult to be physically active.

Recommend professionally delivered home safety evaluation to reduce environmental hazards and identify home modifications to maximize safety.

Refer adult to fact sheets on preventing falls. Learning ways to prevent falls can help an adult to gain self-confidence, a sense of control and reduced fear. This may result in increased activity levels and quality of life

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