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Fear of falling assessments in older people with dementia

  • Chantel Cox (a1) and Michael Vassallo (a1) (a2)

Fear of falling (FoF) is a common condition in older age. However, there is a paucity of research on its prevalence, impact and treatment in older people with dementia. People with dementia have an increased risk of falls which present a significant threat to their independence, as well as having a significant economic impact on health and social services. This review outlines the key issues in relation to FoF, current guidelines and assessment tools and their use for people with dementia. Further research needs to be completed in both addressing the specific assessment barriers that people with dementia may face regarding the use of current FoF tools, with further exploration surrounding the individual's experience of FoF and how this may be impacting upon their quality of life and functionality. Until a well-validated method has been developed, clinicians need to utilize available tools as guidelines, seek the assistance of proxies at all stages of the care journey, and use clinical judgement to assess FoF in patients with dementia.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Professor Michael Vassallo, Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Castle Lane East, Bournemouth BH7 7DW, UK. Email:
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