LOWERING FALL RISKS AMONG OLDER ADULTS
Fall incidents are largely prevalent among the elderly ages 65 and older.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year:
- Over 800,000 patients are being hospitalized due to fall injury
- 3 million older adults are treated in the emergency department for injuries related to Falls
- More than one out of four older people fall
In 2015, falls were responsible for about $50 billion in healthcare costs making the problem more costly. And once an older adult falls, there may be greater chances of future falls.
That?s why a new research impacting CDC?s Stopping Elderly Accidents Deaths and Injuries initiative on medically treated falls (a fall-related treat-and-release emergency department visit or hospitalization), finds older adults with a “fall plan of care,” are less likely to experience fall-related hospitalizations.
The STEADI initiative, approaching fall prevention, includes:
- Screening fall risk
- Assessing modifiable risk factors
- Prescribing evidence-based interventions to reduce fall risk
“Fall prevention activities such as raising awareness about fall risk, identifying individual risk for fall, discussing fall risk prevention strategies, and providing referrals to fall risk reduction programs in the community for older adults were shown to reduce fall-related hospitalizations,? Yvonne Johnston, DrPH, MPH, MSN, RN, FNP, research associate professor at the Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing and corresponding author of the study, says in a news release.
Under the study, researchers classified older adults who were screened for fall risk into three groups:
- At-risk and no Fall Plan of Care (FPOC)
- At-risk with an FPOC
Here, they found that for older adults who were prescribed an FPOC, the odds of a fall-related hospitalization were 40% lower than those who were at risk but did not receive an FPOC.
This project demonstrated that healthcare systems can successfully implement fall prevention screening and referral for older adults in the primary care setting, said Johnston.
Erudite Nursing Institute? salutes the new study in integrating fall prevention screenings and developing Fall Plan of Care as interventions to decrease fall risk incidents among the elderly.
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