Long-Term Care Facility Safety: Prevention and Reduction of Injuries Due to Falls In addition, other factors such as poor lighting, loose rugs, poorly fitting shoes, floor clutter, and beds or toilets without handrails, also may cause falls ." In addition, medical conditions including "…low blood pressure, stroke, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, Meniere's disease (affects the middle ear - causes vertigo), poorly controlled diabetes, poorly controlled epilepsy, brain disorders and thyroid problem increase the elderly client's risk for falls." (McCarthy, Adedokun and Fairchild, )
One out of every three adults ages 65 and older experiences a fall annually however, only about 50% of health care providers discuss falls with these individuals. Falls are the leading cause of injury death in adults 65 years of age and older. More than 19,700 adults died in 2008 form accidental fall injuries and in 2009 out of the 2.2 million nonfatal fall injuries in older adults in excess of 581,000 individuals had to be hospitalized. The direct medical costs were over $19 billion in 2000. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012) According to the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, "One of the most challenging, life-threatening issues related to care of the person with cognitive loss is the occurrence of wandering, wherein the person strays into unsafe territories and may be harmed." (2012) It is reported the long-term care facility is required to maintain a system that ensures that all equipment including "alarms, tracking devices and monitors are periodically checked and maintained for adequate functioning." (NCCDP, 2012)
I. Prevention of Falls Among Older Adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that older adults are able to remain independent and reduce the chances of taking a fall through regular exercise that have a focus on bringing about an increase in the strength of the individual's legs and exercises that improve the individual's balance. Also stated is that the medications taken by older adults should be reviewed by their doctor or pharmacists due to the side effects of medications that may cause the individual to be dizzy or drowsy. Older adults should also have their eyes checked once per year and have their eyeglasses updated. Finally, the residence of the older adults can be safety-proofed through reducing hazards of tripping, adding grab bars in the bathroom and adding railings on stairs as well as improving the lighting.
II. Risk Factors for Falls in the Elderly Population
The work of McCarthy, Adedokun and Fairchild (nd) report that factors that predispose older adults to the ...
Previous study findings show that exercising including warm-up, static stretching, muscle strengthening in the lower extremities, toe exercises, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and cool-down served to increase motivation and to increase care-giving skills. (Kato, et al., 2008) The injuries due to falls were reduced from 41.9% to 9.7%. In a separate study conducted by Sherringoton, Whitney, Lord, Herbert, Cumming and Close (2008) it was found that fall prevention exercises reduced the rate of falling by 17$ and it was concluded by the researchers that exercise programs do indeed reduce fall rates in older people.
In another study reported by Wiens (2001) the role of the pharmacist in preventing falls in the elderly population as examined. The conclusions stated is that the interventions "that include medication review with appropriate modifications to the elderly client's medication regimen support a pharmacists as a participant on a multidisciplinary team that reviewed medication,…
In addition, other factors such as poor lighting, loose rugs, poorly fitting shoes, floor clutter, and beds or toilets without handrails, also may cause falls ." In addition, medical conditions including "…low blood pressure, stroke, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, Meniere's disease (affects the middle ear - causes vertigo), poorly controlled diabetes, poorly controlled epilepsy, brain disorders and thyroid problem increase the elderly client's risk for falls." (McCarthy, Adedokun and Fairchild, )
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