Falls in the toilet environment: a study on influential factors

S.N. Buzink, J.F.M. Molenbroek, E.M. Haagsman, R. Bruin, de

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Limitations accompanying advanced age can result in a variety of problems in the toilet environment. Falls are responsible for the majority of serious injuries amongst elderly people. The Friendly Rest Room (FRR) project focuses on increasing the quality of life for elderly people by making toilet facilities better suited to their individual needs. This study within the FRR project is carried out to determine the need for more appropriate fall preventive measures and create a knowledge base for design criteria to be implemented in the future FRR. Methods Information was obtained by a literature search, semi-structured interviews with elderly people (n=10) and with nursing professionals (n=6). Results Current fall prevention measures do not decrease the number of fall accidents in the toilet environment sufficiently. When assessing toilet environments on potential fall risks, the toilet environment should be regarded as a whole. Elderly people are currently accustomed to adapt their toilet routine to the supports present, which can result in hazardous situations. Discussion Using the findings in literature, the interviews and the authors’ insight the FRiTA Model is created. The model is used to identify ‘basic toilet activities’ with an increased fall risk within the ‘Dutch’ toilet ritual and reveal potential problem areas within the toilet environment. Conclusion Future research should focus on optimal support solutions and user preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
JournalGerontechnology
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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