When dealing with the elderly population it’s important to make sure they are cared for properly. Usually by this age it is hard for the elderly adult to care for themselves and need extra help around the house or need help with activities of daily living. Usually elderly patients are very resistant to getting help because they feel like they are becoming helpless and if they can’t do it themselves, they are failures which is not the point. The help they have helps reduce the risk for injury to them whether if they fall or hurt themselves. Most the time elderly patients still think they can move like they are 20 years old and when they try to do something such as bending over and picking something up, they are putting themselves at risk of falling over.
“Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls.1 Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.”(www.CDC.gov). For the elderly population it is completely necessary to cover all grounds when it comes to making sure these patients don’t fall, because when these patients fall and because they are older individual it is hard for them to be rehabilitated.
Elderly patients don’t recover the same as young adult patients, it takes a lot of time and a lot patients. When housing elderly patients it’s important to make sure they have the needs they need such a caregiver, grab bars in the bathroom or wherever else they are needed, raised toilet seats, step in shower or bath, no rugs on the floor or hallways, hospital beds or side rails, etc. All these things that are used is to protect these patients from harm and are used to prevent these patients from falling. Falls can definitely be preventable.
Our goals as healthcare workers are to protect our patients from no matter what it is. Fall prevention is a huge thing in society today and making sure these patients are safe is super important. When I was working in home health care, this was one of the big things we needed to assess. When doing my patients start of care and health assessment it’s important to visible see how a patient ambulates around in their house, so as the healthcare provider you need to make sure these patients are safe. We want our patients to be safe, healthy, and as independent as they can be in their household. There are tons of interventions that can be done to reduce falls and help elderly adults live better and a lot longer in a safe environment. “Assessment is an ongoing process that includes, multiple and continual types of assessment, reassessment, and evaluation following a fall or intervention to reduce the risk of a fall. Assessment includes: 1) assessment of the older adult at risk; 2) nursing assessment of the patient following a fall; 3) assessment of the environment and other situational circumstances upon admission and during institutional stays; 4) assessment of the older adult’s knowledge of falls and their prevention, including willingness to change behavior, if necessary, to prevent falls.” (Marquis & Huston, 2012).
When it does comes down to caring for elderly patients it is important to assess the overall environment and how this patient is cared for and takes of themselves. If they have a caregiver it’s important to have them there also when doing the assessment and if there have been any history of past falls to let the healthcare personal know and if there have been any fractures or problems caused from them. Most times when elderly patients fall it takes a long time for them to recover from it, especially if they break their hip or fracture something in their lower extremity that makes it hard for them to get around. After the fall and going through rehabilitation, it is important that these patients have everything they need and equipment to use to heal a lot better and prevent future falls.
“Post fall assessments (PFAs) are essential to prevention of future falls and implementation of risk-reduction programs, particularly in institutional settings. The initial post fall assessment includes assessment of the patient for any obvious injuries and the provision of appropriate treatment. If the older adult cannot tell you about the circumstances of the fall, information should be obtained from staff or witnesses. The purpose of the PFA is to identify the underlying cause(s) of the fall and assist in implementing appropriate individualized risk-reduction interventions. Because complications of falls may not occur immediately, all patients should be observed for 48 hours after a fall. Standard “incident report” forms do not provide adequate post fall assessment information.” (Marquis & Huston, 2012)
Marquis, B.L., & Huston, C.J. (2012). Leadership roles and management in functions in nursing: Theory and application. (7th ed.) [Digital Edition]. https://online.vitalsource.com /#/books/978-0-323-07316-5/pages/94830499
Retrieved from the: www.CDC.gov