We were delighted to welcome John Healy back to the Cafe in April to talk to us about falls risk and prevention. John is a physiotherapist in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.

The key points from John’s talk are summarised below.

Falls prevention

Intrinsic / Internal Factors to consider:


  1. Vision
  2. Vestibular system – inner ear
  3. Nervous system – both peripheral and central

Can be positively affected by balance exercise programme


  1. Functional strength – sit to stand, lying to sit
  2. Grip strength – poor grip strength is associated with decreased mortality

Can be positively affected by strengthening exercise


  • Risk taking behaviours
  • Impaired decision making


Extrinsic / External Factors

Environmental influencers:

  1. Lighting – well lit area
  2. Tripping hazards – rugs, toys, pets, clutter
  3. Walking aids – walking aids close by
  4. Contrasts – contrasts between steps

Environmental Adjuncts:

  1. Pendant alarm
  2. Movement sensors
  3. Written messages/signs
  4. Walking aids