Fall Prevention "Tips to Reduce the rate of emergency department (ED) visits due to falls among older adults" -Healthy people 2020

OBJECTIVE: The individual will understand what factors can increase the risk for falls and how to lessen them by the end of the lesson.

Preventing falls is one of the best ways to maintain your current level of independence. There are many simple steps that can be taken in order to prevent a fall and resulting injuries that can severely hinder one's ability to care for oneself.

Internal Factors/Risks

  • Limited Mobility
  • Confusion
  • Orthostatic Hypotension
  • Decreased muscle strength and sensation
  • Dizziness as a side efffect of medication

External Factors/Risks

  • Inadequate lighting
  • Obstructed walkways/pathways
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Lack of ambulation aides

How to Prevent Falls

Diffuse lighting, handrails on stairs, and non-skid footwear all help to reduce the risk of falls in the home.

Making sure that you can see where you are walking is important in maintaining a safe environment. Using prescription glasses (if applicable) and having a well-lit room are ways to avoid tripping on items around you

Using assistive devices such as the handrails of stairs to get around the house can add stability to your gait and promote safety.

Having traction on floor surfaces can help to reduce falls due to slipping. Wearing shoes or non-skid socks around the house (especially on slick surfaces such as wood and tile) can increase stability. Rugs should be avoided because they are a tripping hazard.

Using the restroom before going to bed can decrease the chance of falling in the middle of the night. Trying to walk to the restroom half-asleep and in the dark can increase your risk of falls.

Sources:

  • Jones, D., & Whitaker, T. (2011). Preventing falls in older people: assessment and interventions. Nursing Standard, 25(52), 50-55.
  • Nazarko, L. (2015). Modifiable risk factors for falls and minimizing the risk of harm. Nurse prescribing, 13(4), 192-198.
  • Yoost, B. L., & Crawford, L. R. (2016). Fundamentals of Nursing: active learning for collaborative practice. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
  • Also: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/older-adults/objectives

Credits:

Created with images by olga.reznik - "Light Bulb" • lns1122 - "Lincoln used this hand rail too" • Menswear Market - "Alden Cigar Shell"

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