Exemplar on Quality and Safety
Falls Prevention in the Elderly
One in four Americans over the age of 65 falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall and every 19 minutes, an elderly American dies from a fall (National Council on Aging 2017).
Each year over $50 billion is spent on medical costs related to non-fatal fall injuries and $754 million in health care cost is spent on fatal fall injuries (CDC,2021).
Prevention of falls include: regular exercise to enhance muscle strength and balance, vitamin D supplementation and having regular fall risk assessments ( Chaudhuri et al 2013).
We as APRNs have the evidence based knowledge to assist our elderly population in prevention of falls. Our assessment and treatment skills of this patient population give us the leadership role of creating guidelines for best practice to decrease the fall risk for this patient population.
It is our responsibility to act as the patient advocate and develop prevention guidelines for each patient as well as distribution of the guidelines to our nursing colleagues, administrators and EHR specialists.
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Chaudhuri, S., Thompson, H., & Demiris, G. ( 2013).Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy.
National Council on Aging (2017) Evidence based falls prevention programs: saving lives, saving money.