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Mobility History

 
 
 
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On this page:Falls History

Overview

These questions are incredibly valuable for elderly patients who are poorly mobile, though are likely to be inappropriate in younger patients who are fit and active.
  • Ask About

  • Steadiness - how steady the patient feels on their feet with or without mobility aids
  • Walking aids - whether the patient requires any aids to mobilise, such as a walking stick, 4-wheel walker or rollator frame
  • Transfers - whether the patient can transfer from bed to chair or chair to toilet independently, with assistance, or if they require hoist transfers
  • Stairs - whether the patient is able to climb stairs independently
  • Modifications - whether the patient has had anything added onto their home, such as ramps or toilet / shower rails
Also ask about whether the patient's mobility has changed recently, and why.
  • Significance

  • Poor mobility significantly increases risk of falls, and affects the patient's ability to perform their activities of daily living.

Falls History

  • Ask About

  • Whether the patient has had any falls recently
  • What they were doing when they fell
  • Why they fell
  • Whether the hit their head or other part of the body
  • Whether they have pain in any part of their body
  • How long they were on the ground for
  • How often they fall over
  • Significance

  • Falls in the elderly significantly increase the risk of devastating injuries - especially hip fractures and intracranial bleeds.
  • Risk Factors for Falling

  • Poor vision
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Past stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cerebellar pathology
  • Impaired proprioception
  • Pain
  • Vertigo
  • Hypotension
  • Medications - especially sedatives, antihypotensives
  • Dangerous home environment - e.g. stairs, pets, clutter
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