Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 11

Risky business

Researchers dig into common
causes of falls in senior care
and how to prevent them

to help with strength, balance, and resistance;
formalized play areas feature croquet and badminton courts; and large, grassy sections allow
for tai chi and kite flying. Mazes built at ground
level are designed to help with cognitive functions without making users feel trapped, and
fruit trees and vegetable gardens are included
to invoke memory through taste, sight, and
smell, says Grant Donald, partner and creative
director at Silk Tree International.
Looking at the broader context, the design
team worked with government agencies to
relocate bus stops near two of the entrances
and recommended that transit between a
nearby metro station and the green space be
provided. "Being active gives seniors the
opportunity to be part of society and a community, and to age the way we would all want
to," Donald says.-Anne DiNardo

GRANT A DONALD, SILK TREE INTERNATIONAL

BY THE NUMBERS

3.4%

The forecasted compound annual
growth rate for senior care facilities
in emerging economies through
2021, compared with a compound
annual growth rate of 2.1 percent
for developed economies.
SOURCE: "AGEING POPULATION DRIVES 14 PERCENT GROWTH IN
SENIOR CARE FACILITIES BY 2021," BY GLOBAL MARKET RESEARCH
COMPANY EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL, JULY 26.

"

Promotion & Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health at Texas A&M
Health Science Center (College Station, Texas). "Even those falls that do not result
in injury may affect one's confidence in being
able to prevent falls, which may make them
less likely to engage in physical activity or
social activities, all of which may affect one's
quality of life and likelihood of suffering a fall."
The researchers statistically analyzed data from the
2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities, which
includes assisted living communities, to find new insights,
including who is most at risk and the effect of a community's size on incident rates. The study was published in the
Journal of Aging and Health this spring.
One of the most surprising findings was the "sheer size
of the issue," Towne says. "We found that approximately
15 percent of people in these facilities suffer an injurious
fall." Among those, women needing some assistance with
-Samuel D. Towne Jr.
daily tasks, such as dressing or walking, are more prone
to accidents. Towne attributes this to the fact that those
already needing assistance may potentially be more frail and less steady
on their feet. Additionally, he says, "the likelihood of engaging in regular physical activity among women is lower than among men," which could also
increase their fall risk.
The size of the community was also identified as another contributing factor,
with small- and medium-sized communities (four to 25 beds) accounting for 11
percent of falls while larger facilities (26 to more than 100 beds) reached nearly
16 percent. However, the researchers weren't able to pinpoint why size matters using the available data. "More research is needed to identify why smaller
facilities serve as a protective factor for injurious falls," Towne says. "Furthermore,
understanding the role of staffing ratios in relation to facility size should also be
explored in future research, given the differences in facility size and fall risk in the
current analysis."
Acknowledging that many designers and senior living communities are adding
safety features such as handrails, grab bars, floor lighting, and technology that
predicts falls or notifies caregivers of an incident, Towne says he'd also like to see
a push for safe environments that encourage activities such as walking. "Engaging
in regular physical activity is one way to reduce the likelihood of falls among older
adults," he says.-AD

We found that
approximately
15 percent
of people in
these facilities
suffer an
injurious
fall.

"

The renovation organizes the park into
zones designed to focus on different senses. A
rehabilitation area includes garden equipment

Armed with data that one in three older
people falls each year, researchers at Texas
A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health wanted to take a closer look
into the topic-specifically, to study the risk factors that lead to falls in residential
care facilities.
"Many of these falls may result in injuries or even death," says Samuel D. Towne
Jr., research assistant professor, Program on Healthy Aging, Department of Health

Fall 2016 * EFAmagazine.com

11


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Environments for Aging - Fall 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Fall 2016

Environments for Aging - Fall 2016
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Community
Bigger in Texas
Exterior Expectations
Personalized Care
High Design
Creative License
Top 10 Remodel/ Renovation Projects
Design Profiles
Product Gallery
Q+A
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Environments for Aging - Fall 2016
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Cover2
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 1
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Contents
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 3
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - EFAmagazine.com
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 5
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Editorial
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 7
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Show Talk
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 9
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Bulletin
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 11
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 12
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 13
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 14
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 15
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Community
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 17
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 18
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 19
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 20
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 21
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Bigger in Texas
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 23
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 24
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 25
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 26
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 27
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 28
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 29
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Exterior Expectations
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 31
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 32
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 33
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 34
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 35
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Personalized Care
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 37
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 38
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 39
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 40
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 41
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 42
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 43
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - High Design
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 45
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 46
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 47
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 48
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 49
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Creative License
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 51
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Top 10 Remodel/ Renovation Projects
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 53
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 54
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 55
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 56
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 57
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 58
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 59
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 60
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 61
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 62
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 63
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Design Profiles
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 65
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 66
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 67
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 68
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 69
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Product Gallery
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - 71
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Q+A
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Cover3
Environments for Aging - Fall 2016 - Cover4
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