- April 16, 2020
Nursing Strategies to Prevent Falls in older patients
NursingStrategies to Prevent Falls in older patients
Researchshows that one out of five falls results in serious injuries such asfractures and that this is the most common cause of traumatic braininjuries (Kannuset al. 2016).Apart from health consequences associated with it such as hipfractures, falls can negatively affects medical costs and servicedelivery. This essay discusses incidence and consequences of fallsinvolving older adult patients in the health care facility.Additionally, it identifies factors that place the older adult atrisk for falls in a health care facility,
Themost affected aggregates by falls are those aged 65 years and above.According to research, about half of the elderly people of all agesreport falling twice or thrice in a year. However, half of thevictims tell their doctors that they fell. The national institute onaging states that over 800,000 patients have hospitalized annuallybecause of fall and related injuries (Kannuset al. 2016).The most common type of fall is falling sideways falls, and this cancause hip fractures and brain injuries.
Consequencesof falls in older adults
Fallscan have emotional and health consequences. In elderly people, themost common serious injuries are fractures. Old people tend to sufferhip, humerus, pelvis and wrist fractures after a fall. Additionally,there are also other serious physical consequences of falls such ashematoma, sprain, severe laceration and joint dislocation.
Fallscan also have emotional impacts on the elderly. Research hasconfirmed that many victims have always been afraid of falling againeven if the first incident did not result in severe injuries (Patel,2014). This fear can make them refrain from any physical activity,and this can lead to obesity and cardiac problems. Additionally, whenpeople become less active, their bodies tends to become weaker, andthis tends to increase their chances of falling again. Numerousepisodes of falls can cause depression and other mood relateddisorders because the patient will begin to consider him or herself aburden to others.
Consequencesof falls to the health care facility
Highfrequency of falls in a medical facility can also have some adverseeffects its reputation. In health care facilities and also at homes,falls can also result in brain damages when the head hits the floor(Patel, 2014). This can have far-reaching consequences since elderlypeople usually have weak bones. It can be one of the leading causesof severe mental problems and concussion. When there are a lot ofcases of falls, it suggests that the health care personnel in suchfacilities are careless.
Whenthe hospital’s reputation is damaged, people tend to avoid suchfacilities because of fear that they will not get the appropriatemedical attention that can allow quick recovery (Bouldin, 2013).Additionally, it is evident that high frequency of falls tend toincrease the operational costs of running health facilities becausemore money will have to be spent for treatment of related injuriesthat could have been prevented in the first place.
Severalfactors may contribute to falling in elderly people. They can becategorized into three variables namely intrinsic, extrinsic andexposure risk factors. An example of intrinsic risk factors includesage, gender, social life and history of falls. Research shows thatthe most affected population are aged 40 years and above (Bouldin,2013). Additionally, although fall rates tend to be similar for bothmales and females, older women tend to have more episodes offractures. Individuals who live alone are usually at a greater riskof falling when performing certain chores.
Examplesof extrinsic risk factors for falls include poor stair design. Dimlighting which can interfere with vision and Medications such asbenzodiazepine which are used by older people also increase the riskof hip fractures (Bouldin, 2013). Exposure risk factors include fallscaused by obstacles and slippery and uneven surfaces. Thoseindividuals who are experiencing confusion or feel unsecure are alsoat a higher risk of falls compared to the rest of the population.
Whenit comes to the management of falls in elderly people, it is evidentthat solutions should focus on preventing the occurrences of riskfactors. Elderly people should make appointments with their doctorsespecially with regards to the kind of medication that one shouldtake because of some increases the impacts of fall. Elderly peopleshould be given vitamin supplements that can aid in strengtheningtheir bones. Additionally, those who have eyesight problems should beprovided with equipment to help them see obstacles clearly.
Elderlypeople should also engage in physical activities and wear appropriateand sensible shoes. Engaging in physical activities such as gardeningand regular walks make their bones stronger. Health care facilitiesalso have an important role to play in that they should ensure thatnurses check their patients on a regular basis. These strategies ifsuccessfully implemented can result in a decline in falls.
Itis evident that falls in elderly patients are a very serious healthconcern. Falls can have negative physical and emotional impacts. Forexample, they suffer from hip, humerus, pelvis and wrist fractures.For the health care facilities, they are likely to incur a highoperational cost and bad reputation. Effective management strategiesshould focus on preventing risk factors relating to age, gender andsocial life.
Bouldin,E. D., Andresen, E. M., Dunton, N. E., Simon, M., Waters, T. M., Liu,M. & Shorr, R. I. (2013). Falls among adult patients hospitalizedin the United States: prevalence and trends. Journalof patient safety, 9(1),13.
Kannus,P., Niemi, S., Parkkari, J., & Sievänen, H. (2016). Risingincidence of fall-induced maxillofacial injuries among olderadults. Agingclinical and experimental research,1-5.
Patel,K. V., Phelan, E. A., Leveille, S. G., Lamb, S. E., Missikpode, C.,Wallace, R. B.,& Turk, D. C. (2014). High prevalence of falls,fear of falling, and impaired balance in older adults with pain inthe United States: findings from the 2011 National Health and AgingTrends Study. Journalof the American Geriatrics Society, 62(10),1844-1852.