Fall is the most common cause of injuries, especially in elderly. Fall can lead to hip traumas, head and back trauma and can even increase the chance of an early death. Though fall is preventable, there are still increase cases of reported injuries due from fall. As we get older, the higher our chances in accidentally falling and of being seriously injured by fall. Elderly have four to five times risk of having a serious injury just by merely falling.
Studies show that each year there are 100-200 reports of fall cases from nursing homes. And fall-related injuries inside the nursing home can increase because most residents are the elderly. Almost half of the residents in the nursing home can die or can have a reduced quality of life yearly when accidents like fall can't be
Falls occur more often in older adults at nursing home than those who lived in the community because they are far older have chronic disease and some are not able to walk. They also have problems regarding memory, difficulty in performing activities of daily life, and they need some assistance from other person in getting around and taking care of themselves.
Most common causes of fall in elderly at nursing homes include illness, self-care deficits, and loss of independence. This is also due to environmental hazards such as inadequate lighting, wet floors, not correct bed height, not properly fitted and non-maintained wheelchairs, contracted or unstable ladders of the stairs. Normal physiologic change that accompanies aging like decreased accommodation and dark adaptation on visual, decreased muscle mass and slower gait are also main reasons. Medications can also be a big factor. Those elderly that take medicines like those that affect the central nervous system, sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs.
To avoid fall-related injuries from happening, nursing homes must find the cause and the treat of this case. Some measures like assessment of the risk factors of falling should be done by the personnel. Nursing home staffs should also be educated about ways and strategies to prevent fall. Making some changes in the nursing home environment is also essential enable for the residents to move safely. Changes such as putting grab bars, lowering the toilet bowl, putting in handrails in the hallways and lowering bed heights will be very helpful in preventing falls. Nursing homes can also fix in an alarm device that go off when a patient tries to get or move out of bed without any assistance from nursing home personnel. The nurse should also observe the resident closely after administering medications that may cause dizziness.
The cooperation of the residents is important. Physical therapies can also conduct exercises that will increase and improve balance, strength, walking ability and physical skills.