January 2008

Improving the Safety of Seniors by Investigating Causes of Falling

This session was presented on January 24, 2008.

Session materials


Dr. Aleksandra Zecevic. In 1986 Dr. Zecevic received her Bachelor of Science and in 1990 her Masters of Science degree from the University of Sarajevo in former Yugoslavia. In 1994 she joined the Biomechanics Laboratory at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario where she obtained another Master’s degree. From 1997 until 2000, she taught biomechanics courses and participated in sports biomechanics research projects. Between 2000 and 2002 she worked at the Centre for Studies in Aging at the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto. In summer 2006 she completed her Ph.D. at Western. Her research is on the prevention of falls for seniors, with particular focus on human factors. Currently she is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Western Ontario. In this session, Dr. Zecevic will present the application of an innovative methodological approach named Seniors Falls Investigation Methodology (SFIM) . This adapted version of a method used to investigate transportation incidents, such as airplane crashes, has been successfully implemented to study falls in community, hospitals and a long term care home. Dr. Zecevic will describe how an incident investigation allows us to learn from failure to advance safety by identifying underlined safety deficiencies. Results of two studies show that falls in seniors occur when changes of an ageing body, the environment in which seniors find themselves and the individuals’ behaviour combine in a unique sequence of unfavorable events. Several case studies of authentic fall investigations will be used as examples. Participants will be introduced to a web based Falls Database and invited to consider the application of SFIM in their organizations.


For questions or comments, please contact oiprc@parachutecanada.org

Updated January 14, 2008