Falls Risk Assessment

In order to assess the risk of falls, a gait and balance assessment, for both Mr and Mrs Doherty, should be performed. Mrs Doherty has mobility issues and Mr Doherty, eyesight issues.

One way of assessing balance is to use the Berg balance Scale. The Berg Balance Scale is a test that was originally developed to determine the ability of the elderly to keep their balance. The results are based on how long it takes to complete specific tests and how well the tests are performed.

The fourteen tasks evaluated in the Berg Balance Scale test include:

  • sitting unsupported
  • change of position: sitting to standing to assess possible lower limb dysfunction
  • change of position: standing to sitting
  • transfers
  • standing unsupported to assess postural drop and/or vestibular dysfunction
  • standing with eyes closed (Romberg’s test) to assess proprioceptive loss
  • standing with feet together
  • tandem standing
  • standing on one leg
  • turning trunk (feet fixed)
  • retrieving objects from floor – to assess possible postural problems
  • turning 360 degrees
  • stool stepping
  • reaching forward while standing (forward flexion of head and torso)

Click here to see more about the Berg Balance Scale