Falls In The Elderly Research Paper

1768 Words 8 Pages
Falls In The Elderly
Kayla Bales
Baker University School of Nursing

NU 322: Fundamentals of Nursing Ranee Seastrom & Teresa Faust
April 12, 2016
Falls are defined as an “unplanned descent to the floor” according to Salamon, Victory, & Bobay, (2012). There are different categories of falls which include accidental, anticipated physiologic falls, unanticipated falls, and intentional falls. An example of an accidental fall would be tripping over something on the floor. Anticipated falls have to do with gait imbalances and medications while unanticipated falls are like seizures and are unexpected. Finally intentional falls are when patients want to fall (Taylor, Lillis, Lynn, et al, 2015). Falls can occur at any age but the
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The elderly have an increased risk for falls due to their loss in balance as well as their decreased mobility. Exercising these patients can help increase their balance as well as their mobility in turn decreasing their risk for falls. One form of exercise that could be used is called dance based therapy. In a study done by Krampe, Rantz, Dowell, et. al. (2011) it was found that dance based therapy made the elderly happier than doing aerobic exercises and it also increased their mobility and balance. Creative and fun interventions like dancing can help the elderly get moving and have fun while they do it. If nurses are there helping patients get out of bed or transferring from a chair to the bed the fall risk is decreased. Monitoring a patient’s gait, balance and fatigue level while walking will give a good indication of their fall risk. Walking with them as they ambulate will also decrease fall risk. Also assistive devices are helpful in preventing falls because they help the person to maintain their balance. Making sure the patient knows how to use the devices would also help because if patients do not use them properly injury or falls could result. Safety checks need to be done on the assistive devices to make sure nothing is wrong with them, like broken brakes on beds and wheelchairs. If patients shuffle their feet as they walk they can trip and fall. Nurses need to be …show more content…
Nurses can help prevent fractures and falls by encouraging patients to exercise. The more patients move the more functional they are which decreases their fall risk because exercise increases strength. Not only is the patient affected by the fall because of possible injury, but hospital visits and stays are very costly. A fracture could potentially cause a patient to be hospitalized for several days depending on the injury and the cost of the visit could be nearly $6,000 (Gauterio, et al., 2014). Hospitals and nurses can affected as well by falls. Hospitals can get decreased funding if the number of falls is high and nurses could lose their jobs if a deadly injury occurs and they did nothing to stop it. Falls can be caused by several risk factors. Even though there are several things that can cause them there are also several ways in which they can be prevented. If nurses identify risk factors for their patients, monitor their patients often, and assist them with mobility and therapy falls can be reduced. Risk factors for falls can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. There are also cognitive, physiologic and medication risks that can contribute to falls. Increasing exercise among elderly can help prevent falls because it is strengthening the musculoskeletal system, eliminating environmental factors, and monitoring patients closely can also help. Prevention of falls can be due to nurses intervening or by

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