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Service organisation for people with dementia after an injurious fall: challenges and opportunities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison WheatleyORCiD, Claire BamfordORCiD, Dr Caroline Shaw, Dr Miriam Boyles, Christopher Fox, Dr Louise Allan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Introduction People with dementia are more likely to fall and less likely to recover well after a fall than cognitively intact older people. Little is known about how best to deliver services to this patient group. This paper explored current service provision to help inform the development of a new intervention. Methods Qualitative approaches were used to explore the views and experiences of people with dementia, family carers and professionals providing services to people with dementia following an injurious fall. These data were analysed using a thematic, iterative analysis. Findings While a wide range of services potentially relevant to people with dementia was identified, there were no dedicated services for people with dementia with fall related injuries in our three geographical areas. Factors influencing service uptake included a lack of knowledge of local provision amongst professionals and underdeveloped information sharing systems. Some aspects of current service organization were incompatible with the needs of people with dementia. These include an emphasis on time-limited interventions; lack of longer-term follow-up; and service delivery in environments that could be challenging for people with dementia. Conclusions Care pathways for people with dementia who fall are fragmented and unclear. This is likely to preclude people with dementia from receiving all appropriate support and contribute to poor recovery following a fall. The findings highlight the need for new approaches to service organisation and delivery which address the specific needs of people with dementia who fall.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wheatley A, Bamford C, Shaw C, Boyles M, Fox C, Allan L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2019

Volume: 48

Issue: 3

Pages: 454–458

Print publication date: 01/05/2019

Online publication date: 28/03/2019

Acceptance date: 29/01/2019

Date deposited: 21/01/2019

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afz010


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Funder referenceFunder name
13/78/02National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)