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Keeping older people safe & at home

The Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (Home FAST) is a valid and reliable tool for predicting fall risks in the home. It stops falls by identifying risks older people face in their own homes, then providing tailored solutions to prevent injuries, slips and trips.

Both Home FAST professional and self-assessment versions of the screening tool ask questions about the 25 most common home hazards linked to falling. Home FAST has a scoring algorithm that indicates high or low aspects of falls risk. A full report is produced at the end of each assessment that provides tailored information about any relevant fall risks to fall risks page, as well as offering solutions on how to remedy those hazards.

Fall risks

The Home FAST professional

The professional Home FAST assessment is designed for use by occupational therapists, community nurses and other healthcare workers who regularly visit older people at home. It is a handy assessment tool for busy professionals who want to simply and efficiently assess an older patient’s risk of falling at home. It allows screening for falls risk in the homes of older people visited, and then to be referred on to an occupational therapist/other healthcare worker for a more in-depth assessment.

The Home FAST was developed by Associate Professor Lynette Mackenzie in the 1990s and a paper-based version of the tool has been used by healthcare professionals for almost 20-years. The Home FAST is highly respected amongst occupational therapists and has been validated and proven to identify risks that predict falling in older people.

Professional plans

The Home FAST self report

The self-report version of the Home FAST fall risk assessment tool is designed for use by older people themselves, and their carers. It provides an easy way of identifying risks that need to be dealt with to stay safe from falls at home.

The Home FAST fall risk self-assessment can also be completed by a family member or carer who would like to help an older person stay healthy and live independently.

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Lynette Mackenzie

A valid, evidence-based approach

The Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (Home FAST) was created by Lynette Mackenzie, Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy at The University of Sydney.

Lynette Mackenzie (PhD MEdStud BEdStud BAppSc(OT)Curtin DipCOT UK) has extensive experience in the fields of occupational therapy, health and ageing. Lynette worked as an occupational therapist, practicing in the UK and Australia. In the 1990s she moved into academia, helping to establish and coordinate the OT field program at the University of Newcastle (NSW), where the HOME FAST was first developed.

In 2002 Lynette completed her PhD in epidemiology by investigating falls amongst older people in NSW and QLD as part of the DVA Preventive Care Trial, which formed the basis for the over 75s check later implemented by Medicare. The Home FAST was one of the products from this PhD program, and she has continued to research its application to practice. She is currently working as an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney where she is involved in several research projects related to older people in the community. Lynette is a Fellow of the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Academy.