The Centers for Disease and Control report that falls are the most common cause of injury in older adults. Moderate to severe fall-related injuries significantly interfere with independent living and reduce quality of life, and it is necessary to prevent these falls whenever possible. The present study seeks to identify factors within a hospital bedroom and bathroom setting that may lead to falls. A motion capture experiment was conducted in a laboratory setting on thirty subjects over the age of seventy using one bedroom and two bathroom mockups designed to match the dimensions and layout of a representative room drawn from the archives of a large healthcare design firm. Data were post processed using Cortex and Visual3D software. A potential fall was defined as a period of time during which the jerk trajectory of the upper body’s center of mass remained consistently high. Preliminary results suggest that falls are more likely to occur when a patient is reaching, taking backwards steps, or turning. Future work includes locating each potential fall in a video recording to be analyzed by healthcare professionals including healthcare designers, clinicians, and a kinesiology expert. Identifying potential falls may lead to safer designs for hospital bedrooms and bathrooms and improved education for elderly adults about how to prevent falls.

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