Elderly patients are far more susceptible to falling and sustaining injury. Falls may be caused by environmental or physiologic factors. Most of these falls are associated with one or more identifiable risk factors (e.g. weakness, unsteady gait, confusion and certain medications), and research has shown that attention to these risk factors can significantly reduce rates of falling. The systematic fall risk assessment and targeted interventions, exercise programs and environmental-inspection and hazard-reduction programs are some of the most (and cost effective) fall reduction programs .The fall risk among the elder are causing them to use the health care services including premature nursing home admissions.
As a patient, take these steps to prevent falls:
• Exercise to improve your balance and leg strength.
• Ask your doctor to review your medicines. Some medicines can make you dizzy or sleepy.
• Have your vision checked at least every 1 to 2 years. Update your glasses or contact lenses when your vision changes.
• Make your home safer by fixing possible dangers. For example, add stair railings and move cords you could trip over.
The nursing care can assess the patient’s fall risk factors through physical examination, observation and interaction with patient. Fall management applies for all patients, especially for those who:
• Were recently admitted or have a change in rooms
• Have a change in physical/emotional status
• Were recently hospitalized
• Have experienced a recent fall
Fall prevention programs can include a number of components to identify and modify risk, such as:
• Screening within living environments for risks for falls.
• Clinical interventions to identify risk factors, such as medication review and modification, treatment of low blood pressure, Vitamin and supplementation, treatment of correctable visual impairment.
• Home assessment and environmental modification for those with known risk factors or a history of falling.
• Prescription of appropriate assistive devices to address physical and sensory impairments.
• Muscle strengthening and balance retraining prescribed by a trained health professional.
• Use of hip protectors for those at risk of a hip fracture due to a fall.
Nursing Care / Medical professional can categorized the patient factors as follows:
-Level of consciousness
Medical status / history
-Vision / hearing
Depending on the different characteristics of the above categories,nursing care can assess the fall risk among patients and can define the evaluation chart with low, medium and high-risk intensity.
These all multi-disciplinary home care fall reduction initiative aims to:
• Reduce falls
• Improve patient outcomes
• Establish a baseline of falls in home care