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Falls: Facts, Risks, Prevention Essay

1597 words - 7 pages

Falls: Risks, Facts, Prevention

Falls: Risks, Facts, Prevention

The following information is a compilation of the teaching plan utilized for the community teaching assignment. The information presented includes statistical analysis and detailed information on potential risks of injury and death related to falls among the elderly. It also highlights prevention methods that can be utilized in an attempt to decrease Emergency Room visits secondary to falls.
My target audience consisted of 18 senior citizens who reside at Heartfield Assisted Living Facility in Cary, NC. The median age of this group was 78 years old. A ...view middle of the document...

Each year, one in three elderly individuals will have a fall with more than two thirds of those falling again in the following six months. 9,500 deaths occur each year in the geriatric population as a result of injury secondary to falls (“10 Shocking Statistics….”).
Fall risks that were discussed as part of the teaching: Orthostatic hypotension, postural changes, polypharmacy/side effects of meds, generalized weakness, poor vision/dim lighting, bathroom dangers including bathing and wet floors, urgency for toileting, rushing, walking too fast or not using wheelchair brakes, reaching for items that are high overhead, improper footwear and broken or defective equipment.
Prevention methods suggested during the course of teaching: Make slow position changes, allow time to adjust to postural changes prior to standing, be mindful of medication and potential side effects, always ask for assistance if needed for standing or walking, ALWAYS lock wheelchair brakes before standing or sitting back down, wear glasses if warranted and keep a night light on for illumination, ask to have grab bars installed in shower and ask for stand by assist when entering or exiting shower or bathtub, time voiding to reduce urgency, always ask for assistance when reaching for items high overhead, reduce obstacles in immediate living area (de-clutter), be extremely mindful of oxygen tubing and electrical cords, always wear proper footwear and non skid socks, immediately discard worn out, broken or defective assistive devices.
The behaviorism learning theory (broken down into classical and operant conditioning) was applied for the teaching project. After completing the teaching of the three categories listed above, the audience was able to recognize the correlation between utilization of proper equipment/safety precautions and reduction in falls (classical conditioning). With continuity of safety and resultant lack of falls, operant conditioning will be demonstrated in a positive manner (reward). In contrast, if participants choose not to alter unsafe behavior and do experience a fall with or without resultant injury, operant conditioning would be presented in a negative light (punishment). Furthermore, this method of learning and positive/negative reinforcement relates to Alma Ata’s Health for All Global Initiatives. Injuries from falls are a global concern and affect elderly individuals worldwide. All elderly individuals should have access to assistive devices and the education necessary to make informed choices regarding their activities. Safety can never be taken too seriously and all geriatric individuals deserve the right to feel safe, secure and independent.
The nursing diagnosis I chose was: Increased risk of falls that may lead to injury related to: altered mobility, poor vision, postural hypotension, polypharmacy, altered elimination patterns and wheelchair/durable medical equipment use. I feel that this diagnosis is supported by the three...

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