March 2021

03/01/21

 

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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References

CDC(2021) https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/data/fallcost.html

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.

2 thoughts on “March 2021

  1. Hi Joanne,

    Thanks for sharing your exemplar on fall prevention in the elderly population. Ironically, one of my topics i contemplated doing my DNP project was on osteoporosis screening for early identification of injury (i.e. fractures) with falls in older adults. As an adult Nurse Practitioner, during my home visits of our seniors i discovered fall injuries on several occassions which progressed to surgical inteventions and post-op rehab that sometimes are difficulty strain on a fragile or frail older adult. I have also seen death secondary to complications from falls with fractures. It is a serious risk for older adults that as clinicians we can be advocates for preventative screening and implementation of physical therapy for balance improvement, and mitigating home safety issues by putting risk reduction measure into place. I am part of a fall prevention program in the northern virginia area in my current job as Program Coordinator, Adult Day Health Care centers and Long Term Care Services for the Health Department. The attached flyer has some programs you maybe interested in looking up. Thanks.

    NVFPA Program Information Sheet.pdf

    • Natalia,
      Thank you very much for reading my exemplar.
      I would love to hear more about your experience in working with the aging population in the Adult Day Care Centers as the Program Director.
      Your NVFPA Program Information sheet pdf would be wonderful to view. I am not open it and I tried to google it.
      I will do a google search of your Day Care Centers.
      My volunteer job is working with a senior center which includes a Day Care Center and I will be teaching the participants low impact exercise to help build their balance and strength.
      Your Adult Day Care Centers are fortunate to have you as their adminstrator.
      Best.
      Joanne

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