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Article

Ladder Use in Older People: Type, Frequency, Tasks and Predictors of Risk Behaviours

1
Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre, Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
3
School of Medical Sciences, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 1466, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9799; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189799
Received: 23 July 2021 / Revised: 8 September 2021 / Accepted: 12 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Aging)
Ladder fall and injury risk increases with age. People who present to a hospital after an injurious ladder fall have been surveyed, but little is known about ladder use in the community. The purpose of this study was to: (1) document salient factors related to ladder safety, and (2) determine physical, executive function, psychological and frequency-of-use factors associated with unsafe ladder use in older people. One hundred and two older people (aged 65+ years) were recruited. Participants completed questionnaires on demographics, health, and ladder use (type, frequency, task, behaviours) and underwent assessments of physical and executive function ability. Results showed both older men and women commonly use step ladders (61% monthly, 96% yearly), mostly inside the home for tasks such as changing a lightbulb (70%) and decorating (43%). Older men also commonly use straight ladders (27% monthly, 75% yearly), mostly outside the home for tasks such as clearing gutters (74%) and pruning trees (40%). Unsafe ladder use was more common in males and individuals with greater ladder use frequency, greater quadriceps strength, better upper limb dexterity, better balance, better stepping ability, greater self-reported everyday risk-taking, a lower fear of falling, and fewer health problems compared to their counterparts (all p < 0.05). These findings document ladder use by older people and provide insight into unsafe ladder behaviours that may be amenable to interventions to reduce ladder falls and associated injuries. View Full-Text
Keywords: accidental falls; aged; risk; behaviour; risk factors; safety accidental falls; aged; risk; behaviour; risk factors; safety
MDPI and ACS Style

Hicks, C.; Pliner, E.M.; Lord, S.R.; Sturnieks, D.L. Ladder Use in Older People: Type, Frequency, Tasks and Predictors of Risk Behaviours. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9799. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189799

AMA Style

Hicks C, Pliner EM, Lord SR, Sturnieks DL. Ladder Use in Older People: Type, Frequency, Tasks and Predictors of Risk Behaviours. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9799. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189799

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hicks, Cameron, Erika M. Pliner, Stephen R. Lord, and Daina L. Sturnieks 2021. "Ladder Use in Older People: Type, Frequency, Tasks and Predictors of Risk Behaviours" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9799. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189799

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