New injuries – even minor ones — caused by a fall may have a significant impact on the older person’s ability to function in the environment from which they came. For example:
Assess Pre-Injury ADLs and IADLs
A quick assessment of pre-injury function – including ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) – will help to determine how functionally independent the person was before the fall.
Activities of Daily Living
One way to remember them is: “the things you do during the first twenty minutes of your day.”
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
One way to remember them is: “the things you learned to do when you left your parents’ house.”
- Meal preparation
- Medication management
- Phone and use of technology
Some assessment of function in the department is imperative before discharge. As a minimum the person needs to be able to ambulate independently if he is going to leave the department. More completely if the discharge is going to be an enduring one, the person will need to be able to function independently or with adequate support at home. That may take some coordination of discharge planning.
If you would like to learn more about this topic, visit the Functional Assessment and Discharge Planning module.