Preventing Falls In Nursing Homes
Falls are quite common in nursing homes. Nursing home falls attorneys will tell you that few other accidents will have the same effect on an elderly person than a fall. Several studies have revealed that approximately 1.5 falls happen in nursing homes in a year. While majority are benign and injury-free, 10% to 25% of falls result in hospital admission and/or fractures. Nursing home administrators and caregivers are constantly aiming to prevent nursing home falls.
Fall prevention among elderly patients poses a major challenge to nursing homes. While only 5% of adults more than 65 years old live in nursing homes, it represents 20% of fall-related deaths. Falls may lead to disability, functional decline, low quality of life, and even death. Every year, a total of 1,800 nursing home residents die from falls annually.
There are several steps that nursing homes can implement in order to prevent falls among elderly patients. The first step in prevention is risk assessment. There are different factors that contribute to nursing home falls. Most of them are well documented. In order to minimize them, it is important for the facility to conduct a risk assessment.
Another way to prevent falls in the nursing home is for the patient to be constantly moving. Physical activity can make a huge difference in preventing falls. The elderly can do different activities such as walking, water workouts, tai chi, and others. Constant movement can help reduce the potential of falls as it improves the strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility of the elderly.
Intervention is another effective method for preventing falls in the nursing home. Since there are many factors that can contribute to falls, no single intervention can lead to prevention of falls. A comprehensive assessment is therefore necessary in order to effectively develop a care plan for the residents.
Finally, obstacles in the nursing home hazard should be removed in order to keep the premises safe. Boxes, newspapers, and electrical cords must be removed from walkways. The nursing home should have adequate lighting to prevent the patient from tripping.