This study addresses methods to reduce the rate of falls in older adults who reside in nursing homes. This topic is important when you consider the large population of older adults (65 years of age and older) from the “baby boom” generation, many of whom will become residents of nursing homes. Falling can significantly affect their lives and overall wellbeing. Often falls lead to reduced functioning, which increases morbidity and mortality. About 20% of falls require medical attention, of which 5% are fractures, severe head injuries, joint distortions and dislocations. About 5-10% of falls result in soft-tissue contusions and lacerations (Baranzini et al., 2009). Fall-induced injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the elderly and are one of the most common causes of longstanding pain and disability in this population. Falls account for over 80% of injury-related admissions to the hospital for people older than 65 years of age. Between 10% and 25% of nursing home falls result in fractures or hospital admissions (Baranzini et al., 2013).
Nursing home residents are more likely to fall and experience fractures than elderly persons who live in the community. This is because they typically have many of the common health risk factors associated with falling. These include impaired mobility, problems with balance and gait, cognitive and visual impairments. A combination of health issues, medications, polypharmacy, and environmental factors are responsible for many falls in the nursing home setting (CDC, 2012). For this study, a comprehensive falls prevention program was developed to reduce the number of falls in the nursing home setting. Current programs were not working well for a variety
of reasons. The existing strategies include using bed alarms, audio monitoring, low beds, removing side rails and using motion detectors are also used in an effort to prevent falls. This study was a comprehensive interdisciplinary falls prevention program that focused on the implementation of evidence-based strategies to prevent falls. This will included developing policies, procedures and practice guidelines for fall prevention using a falls prevention tool, staff education, daily exercise program, hourly rounding, hip protectors, and
monthly medication reviews (Baranzini et al., 2013). The study was conducted at one small local nursing home. The results demonstrated that the staff were non-compliant with the program. They reported that there was a shortage of staff so they were not able to complete the program. This program would be more likely to succeed at a larger facility where they may have enough staff to complete the program to determine its effectiveness for reducing falls in their residents.
What will audience learn from your presentation?
Since 2008, patient falls with injury have been included in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s list of hospital acquired conditions. This list contains 10 conditions considered preventable if the resident is provided with proper care. Therefore, health care facilities will no longer receive reimbursement from Medicaid or Medicare if these preventable conditions occur (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2011). Consequently, the facility will have to absorb the cost of treatment. Therefore, nursing homes will benefit financially by reducing the number of falls. Patients will benefit by having a safe environment in which to reside. Families will have peace of mind knowing their loved one is living in a safer home.