Intrinsic fall risk factors:

  • Muscle weakness and walking/gait problems account for about 24% of the falls in nursing homes. (Rubenstein 1997)
  • Medications, especially psychoactive drugs such as sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs (Mustard 1997; Ray 2000)
  • Poor foot care (Ray 1997), poorly fitting shoes, and inappropriate or incorrect use of walking aids (Tinetti 1987)
  • Older with more cognitive impairments (Bedsine 1996)
  • More chronic illnesses (Bedsine 1996)


Extrinsic fall risk factors:

  • Environmental cause 16% to 27% of falls among residents (Rubenstein 1997) and include:
    • Wet Floors
    • Poor lighting
    • incorrect bed height
  • Call light not within reach
  • Improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs
  • Non grip footwear
  • Glasses not available

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls in Nursing Home. Available at Accessed May 9, 2012.