This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a falls-prevention programme for older people with dementia from predominantly an Italian background. The study had a single group pretest-posttest design and enrolled 64 community-dwelling older people with dementia; 6-month follow-up data were available for 32 participants. The falls-prevention programme was embedded in a healthy lifestyle dementia respite programme, which combined day respite with preventative health programmes. A comprehensive falls risk assessment was conducted for each client to develop an individualised falls and injury management plan that included a tailored exercise programme to improve strength and balance. Outcome measurements were fall status, cognitive function (Mini Mental State Examination, MMSE), balance (Berg Balance Scale, BBS) and aerobic capacity (6-minute walk test). There were no significant differences between baseline and 6-month measures for the number of fallers, BBS, MMSE or 6-minute walk test (n = 32; p > 0.05), indicating that participants neither improved nor declined significantly. A feasible method of delivering falls prevention services to older people with dementia has been developed. There is a need for further investigation to establish the effectiveness of this method.
- Aged care
- Falls prevention