Sample Healthcare Paper on Development of a Fall Prevention Program

Falls are among the most common cause of death among the elderly resulting in injuries and complications. Age-related changes such as posture and gait alongside complication related to diseases have an impact on the ability of older people to maintain their balance. Degradation of cognitive functions, side effects related to medication, and changes in a person’s environment increase the likelihood of falls among these individuals. Falls among the elderly are issues affecting public health and the community. Statistics show that one out of every fall results in serious injuries like fractures or head injuries. 3 million people are treated in emergencies yearly due to falls (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). These falls contribute to increased medical bills and can be reduced through development of effective fall-prevention programs. For this assignment, the program developed will be applied in a nursing facility that caters for older individuals above the age of 65 years.

Fall Prevention Program for a Nursing Home in South Florida

The facility that will be used for the fall prevention plan will be the Senior Home Care of South Florida located on 6308 SW 27th street. This facility has 10 units. They offer either shared or private accommodation for the elderly living within the facility. The fall program will be referred to as the “Senior Home Care Fall Prevention Program.” Some of the fall prevention interventions that can be implemented in this facility include use of call bells that will allow nurses to respond to patient’s needs instead of having the patients care for themselves and provision of walking aids for patients with altered gait or chronic pain that might interfere with their ability to walk properly. These approaches were used among community-dwelling adults (Lee, Lee and Khang). They contributed to approximately 25% reduction of falls.

Aside from that, the facility will provide the patients with anti-slip or nonslip footwear, provide them with bed alarms, and install grab bars and handrails. Proper room lighting and provision of education to the patient and family members about the risk of falls and side effects caused by medications would also reduce the number of falls (Lee, Lee and Khang). In a study that addressed the risks of falls among the elderly, the researchers assessed the risks of medication that have been related to falls in the past. The study found out that there was a significant decrease in the number of falls among patients (Phelan, Aerts and Dowler). The study showed the need to increase attention to medication offered to the patients and importance of providing patient and family counseling regarding the use of these drugs.

The use of group exercise among the elderly was ranked highly with half of the participants benefiting from it; medication review was considered the second most suitable method of reducing falls followed by occupation therapy, and promotion of home-based safety (Day, Donaldson and Thompson). The evidence suggested that the use of multifactorial interventions provides the most suitable fall prevention results.

Training required

Some of the training that will be provided to the nurses working at the facility include education on how to detect patients at risks for falls, how to assist these patients such as helping them learn how to use walking aids and assisting them with other activities like dressing, feeding, and bathing. The nurses, patients, and family members will be educated on medication that are likely to cause dizziness and other postural problems that could lead to fall. Additionally, the nurses will be taught how to conduct medication reviews and communicate the information they obtain to the patient and the family members to ensure that patients with a highly likelihood of falling due to drugs side effects are aware of this risk and can take prevention measures (Quigley 31-32; Lee, Lee and Khang). Nurses will be trained on use of effective monitoring strategies using surveillance cameras.

Items Needed and Cost of the Program

The items that will need to be purchased to support the program include low-low beds that keep patients as close to the ground as possible, protective caps, alarms beside their beds, beveled floors, handrails or grab bars, nonslip footwear, and walking aids. The total cost of the program will be $100,000. This amount will be used to purchase equipment, provide training material, caps, footwear, and install safety equipment like sockets, alarms, and beveled floors. The estimated costs of the caps depending on the types varies from $35 to $150. The cheapest caps can be offered free to the elders while the most expensive caps can be offered on a subsidized charge for rental purposes to the patients. To cut the costs of the caps, those offered on rental basis will only be offered to patients with head injuries (Quigley 37). The rest of the money will be used for installation of the safety equipment and sustaining the training program.

Benefit and Outcomes of the Program

Accidental falls are common in unsafe environments. Eliminating the tripping and slipping hazards in the facility and provision of beveled floors will reduce the number of falls experienced daily. The fall prevention program will delay declining elements related to aging, increase patients ability to care for themselves, promote monitoring of patients, and reduce costs associated with healthcare. The fall prevention program will benefit the facilities or institution by decreasing the number of court cases held against these facilities due to negligence of patients related to falls.

 

 

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Facts about Falls. 10 February 2017. Accessed <https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html>.

Day, Lesley, et al. “Intergrating Proven Falls Prevention Interventions into Government Programs.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health (2014): 38(2), 122-127. Accessed https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1753-6405.12140.

Lee, Aimee, Kuo-Wei Lee and Peter Khang. “Preventing Falls in the Geriatric Population.” The Permanent Journal (2013): 17(4), 37-39. Accessed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3854807/.

Phelan, Elizabeth A., et al. “Adoption of Evidence-Based Fall Prevention Practices in Primary Care for Older Adults with a History of Falls.” Front Public Health (2016): 4:190. Accessed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5014854/.

Quigley, Patricia. “Focus on Fall Prevention.” American Nurse Today (2015): 10(7), 28-39. Accessed <https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ant7-Falls-630_FULL.pdf>.