For developing fall prevention strategies in a nursing home for elderly patients, it is important to create a safe environment and improve treatment protocols. According to the facility’s mission statements, its aim is to provide safe and evidence-based health services to senior citizens with the intention of improving health, improving quality of life, tending to the patients’ emotional needs, preventing harm, and alleviating suffering as humanely and safely as possible. The facility supports equal treatment to all patients and the preservation of human dignity while providing healthcare services. The plan aligns with the facility’s mission statement because falls in elderly patients can lead to severe complications and high morbidity rates (Fuller, 2000), so fall prevention strategies will align with the goal of improving the patient’s quality of life and improving emotional well-being.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities report between 2.9 and 13 falls per 1,000 bed days (Oliver, Daly, Martin, & McMurdo, 2004). In the nursing home for elderly patients that desires to implement fall prevention strategies, 6.4 falls are reported per 1,000 bed days. That number is consistent with the statistics that elderly patients will more likely fall and experience adverse health effects after falls than younger patients (Fuller, 2000). However, there is still room for improvement, and the facility can reduce their numbers to lower than 4 falls per 1,000 bed days with proper planning and strategy implementation.
According to Oliver et al. (2004), there is no evidence of systematic methods that can be used to predict causative factors responsible for falls. However, environmental safety and intrinsic factors can be controlled to a certain extent to help the facility identify and eliminate the causes of falls in elderly patients. The strategy used to develop the fall prevention plan will assess the current environmental situation in the facility and intrinsic factors in their patients to determine which improvements are necessary to reduce falls.
The environment in the facility is already adapted to the needs of elderly patients. For example, handrails are installed on stairs, rubber mats are used in bathrooms, and adequate lighting is used. Some aspects of fall prevention also cover intrinsic factors. For example, the facility currently offers programs for improving joint mobility, balance, and coordination to its patients. Appropriate assessment for previous falls and risk of falls is also conducted with every new patient. However, there is room for improvement in both aspects.
Fuller, G. F. (2000). Falls in the elderly. American Family Physician, 61(7), 2159-2168.
Oliver, D., Daly, F., Martin, F. C., & McMurdo, M. E. (2004). Risk factors and risk assessment tools for falls in hospital in-patients: a systematic review. Age and Ageing, 33(2), 122-130.