Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Prevention of Falls and Fall Injuries in the Older Adult

Project / Initiative: 
Long-Term Care Best Practices Program
Type of Guideline: 
Publish Date: 
About this Guideline:

The purpose of this guideline is to increase all nurses’ confidence, knowledge, skills and abilities in the identification of adults within health care facilities at risk of falling and to define interventions for the prevention of falling. It does not include interventions for prevention of falls and fall injuries in older adults living in community settings. The guideline has relevance to areas of clinical practice including acute care and long-term care, and will assist nurses to apply the best available research evidence to clinical decisions, and to promote the responsible use of health care resources. Specifically, Prevention of Falls and Fall Injuries in the Older Adult will assist nurses to:

  • Identify risk factors for falls;
  • Decrease the incidence of falls; and
  • Decrease the incidence of injurious falls.

The guideline focuses on: Practice Recommendations for assisting practitioner and client decisions; Education Recommendations for supporting the skills required for nurses; and Organization and Policy Recommendations addressing the importance of a supportive practice environment as an enabling factor for providing high quality nursing care which includes ongoing evaluation of guideline implementation.

This nursing best practice guideline contains recommendations for Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs). It is acknowledged that effective client care depends on a coordinated multidisciplinary approach incorporating ongoing communication between health professionals and patients/clients, ever mindful of the personal preferences and unique needs of each individual client. The recommendations made are not binding for nurses and should accommodate client/family wishes and local circumstances. It is the intention of this guideline to identify best nursing practices in the area of falls and prevention of falls. It is acknowledged that the individual competency of nurses varies between nurses and across categories of nursing professionals (RPNs and RNs), and is based on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgment enhanced over time by experience and education

Revised: 2005
Supplement: 2011

Related File(s):
Falls Supplement1.17 MB