Falls, which are common among nursing home residents, are linked to ill health, impaired functioning, as well as death. When old people fall, they develop a phobia of falling again. This fear inhibits motion, increasing the danger of experiencing a co-morbid ailment including pressure sores, pneumonia, or depression.
As a result, falls have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of elderly individuals. Nursing homes house well over 1.4 million Americans aged 65 and up. Analysts predict that by 2030, this figure will have more than doubled. It is also projected that between 50% and 75% of nursing home residents die annually.
In the real sense, falls are responsible for a minimum of 20% of nursing home mortalities. Furthermore, some who survive their falls usually have a considerably lesser quality of life.
State regulations governing elderly care require establishments to include fall-preventive strategies in their policies. Nurses play a significant part in evaluating fall risk as well as trying to implement an evidence-based strategy to avoid or reduce the consequences of falls in vulnerable patients.
What Circumstances Can Result In a Nursing Home Fall?
- Fainting or blackouts. People with diabetes or other health ailments that could indeed trigger an unexpected drop in their blood pressure should be closely monitored. Patient data must also indicate their current conditions and be regularly modified as treatment and health issues change.
- Movement. Prolonged hours of lying might cause certain uneasiness. Professionals should ensure that motionless residents are relaxed and encouraged to engage so that they do not desire to get up without aid.
- No proper footwear. Socks, slippers, or perhaps even going bare feet can pose a risk of falls. Nursing home staff must advise people to wear athletic shoes with a midsole and a cozy fit. This improves posture and balance while also ensuring that individuals’ shoes have a good grip to avert slipping.
Preventing Falls in Nursing Homes
Falls in nursing homes occur for a variety of reasons. Implement these simple, but still proper measures to keep anyone you care about from falling:
Provide multiple light sources
Nightlights aren’t only intended for babies. You should consider positioning lights throughout the room so that seniors are aware of any challenges that stand in their way if they have to wake up the night.
Maintain a list of medications
Understanding what prescription drugs a loved one is taking can aid in the prevention of falls. You could even consider taking the medication list to the physician and asking them to evaluate it to determine if any of them interact with each other. An adverse response to medicines could sometimes lead to falling.
Install safety equipment
It is critical to always have safety rails installed throughout the resident’s room or even throughout the nursing home to provide assistance whilst moving around. When checking a safety rail, ensure that it’s strong enough for an individual to hold onto.
If the facility lacks safety rails, consider purchasing devices such as a life alert system to guarantee your loved one is heard if they fall.
Introduce balance exercises
Simple but useful workouts could indeed benefit an elderly person’s stability and avert falls. Taking a stroll and tai chi are activities that can help with postural control. You could as well practice landing safely with nursing home residents in order to be ready just in case.