Frequency and Causes of Home Accidents and Its Relation with the Living Environment in Elderly People Admitted to a Geriatric Outpatient Clinic

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Senay Topac, RN, MSc
Nursing, Konya Military Hospital, Konya, Turkey
Tulay Ortabag, PhD
School of nursing, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to learn that falling is the most frequency case which seen among home accidents in elderly people.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to learn that polypharmacy is major cause of falling in elderly people.

Purpose: This research was planned as crossectional one to determine the risks, frequency and causes of home accidents, causal relationship with physical environment of elderly people and to determine the relations between the characteristics of physical environment and daily living activities of these people.

Methods: Study group was consisted of the elderly people attending to Gulhane Military Medical Academy geriatric outpatient unit, during five months period, (n=213). A questionnaire form prepared by the researcher was used to collect the data. All statistical measurements were made by using SPSS PC, Ver. 15.0. Chi-square test and Odds ratio were used for statistical analysis.

Results: According to the study results, 65,3 % of patients experienced home accidents in previous year. The types of accidents frequently seen were as follows; 67.6 % falls, 12,2 % hitting, 7,9 % burn. Parts of the house accidents mostly seen were the hall and the kitchen. Winter was found to be the season in which the frequency of home accidents increased. The risk factors determined were “being female” , “age of 75 and over” , “having under the secondary school level”, “being not married”, “having low economic level”, “living alone”, “living at the 3 rd floor and above” , “not taking exercises regularly” , “taking and more drugs”, “having dizziness and hypertension”. There were no interventions in 62.6 % of accidents. Only 23.0 % of patient had applied for any medical treatments. Unsuitable interventions were performed for 14.4 % of cases. Conclusion:   In conclusion, home accidents are seen frequently in elderly. It is thought that preventive measures like education of public and health care professionals could decrease the frequency of home accidents in community-dwelling elderly people.