Vulnerability of Elders for Fallings at Home in Picos/Piauí, Brazil

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ana Larissa Gomes Machado, MSc1
Wenersâmio Araújo de Moura Luz Sr., ACD2
Eduardo Carvalho de Souza, ACD2
Layane de Sousa Lopes, ACD2
Nádya dos Santos Moura, ACD2
Keila Cardoso de Sousa, ACD2
Marília Braga Marques, MSc1
Gerdane Celene Nunes Carvalho3
(1)Bacharelado em Enfermagem, Universidade Federal do Piauí, Picos, Brazil
(2)Enfermagem, Universidade Federal do Piauí, Picos, Brazil
(3)Enfermagem, Universidade Estadual do Piauí, Picos, Brazil

Learning Objective 1: To investigate the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors involved in the elder fall occurrences at home.

Learning Objective 2: To determine the impact of these falls on the elderly’s life.

Purpose: To investigate the risk factors that contributes to falls of elders at home.

Methods: Cross-sectional study with quantitative approach in which were interviewed 102 elders registered in a Family’s Health Center of Picos, city of Piauí, Brazil, between August and September 2010. Data were collected using a questionnaire in order to verify the causes of falls, recurrence, data records about their lifestyle, routine and health aspects.

Results: 49% (50 elders) have already suffered, at least, once a fall at home. Out of those, 74% were women and 38% were men ranging from 60 to 65 years-old. Regarding to the fall places, 23.5% occurred in the bathroom, 33.3% during the ambulation and 21.6 % due to muscle weakness of the legs. Smooth and slippery surfaces and absence of handrails in the family units visited were attributed to the 28.4% of falls, according to the elders. The main consequence after the fallings was the apprehension of falling again, being cited by 82% (41) of the elders.

Conclusion: All information acquired by the investigation allowed the nurses and other members of staff to evaluate the conditions in which the elders are living to propose changes at their homes taking into consideration the capital available to the family. The natural effects of muscle mass and strength loss can be attenuated whether health care programs were developed to improve their motor and psychosocial faculties. This achievement requires a multidimensional approach based on an interdisciplinary staff combined action.