Fall Prevention Management Program

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Christie M. Silk, BSN
Griswold Rehab Care Center, Griswold, IA, USA

The percentages of falls range between 50%-75% of nursing home residents will fall annually, which has been found to be twice the rate of falls in community-dwelling older adults. Falls result in disability, functional decline, reduced quality of life and even death especially for those elderly who fracture a hip. The majority of these falls that occur in the nursing home can be prevented. A fall-risk assessment tool is used when a resident is being admitted to the nursing home which shows what their specific risks are. They key to prevention is to use proper interventions for the residents individual risk factors. It has been shown that each resident may require multiple interventions for just one risk factor in order to effectively prevent a fall. communication is the key to preventing falls in the nursing home. There are multiple causes for falls in the elderly in a nursing home setting such as medications, previous falls, gait/balance disorders and medical conditions. These things must be communicated to other staff, especially when there have been medication changes and certain things such as orthostatic hypotension or dizziness need to be watched for that would increase the risk for a fall. At the facility this project was done at, there were very few proper interventions being done to prevent the incidences of falls among the residents. Interventions such as Falling Stars that are pictures of a falling star were placed on each residents door that were a fall risk to make the staff aware of who was a fall risk. The Falling Star was also placed on the wheelchairs so when they were out of their room the staff could also be aware of who was a fall risk. Yellow socks were worn by those who were a fall risk so staff could identify those who were a fall risk easily. Hourly rounding has been proven to be a fall prevention technique, this was not being done. Hourly rounding provides visualization on the residents, asking them if they need toileting, a drink, check on their pain or is anything out of their reach? Many times these are the issues that lead up to a fall. Other interventions such as post-fall huddle was initiated to help determine what led up to a fall and what could be done to prevent a secondary fall. Bed/chair alarms were not being checked routinely and residents were being found on the floor with no alarm being sounded. Alarms can be key to letting staff know when a resident is attempting to get up or is sliding out of their chair and about to fall. Staff need to be vigilant when it comes to the prevention of falls.