Falls are a major reason for our seniors hospital admissions, readmissions, loss of independance and rising healthcare costs for seniors. Yet fall prevention efforts are not to date a change maker for eldercare. Here are some quick thoughts on how to make some positive changes.
Fall prevention efforts seem to be skewed to “avoidance efforts” and not prevention. Here is some information and source references for seniors, adult children of seniors and providers connected in care to be aware of.
Fallers Unaware of Prevention Strategies
A recent study identified a gap between recent fallers’ knowledge and the latest research-proven senior care fall prevention strategies.(1) Seniors (n=333) were asked to identify strategies to reduce their falls risk upon returning home following a fall-related hospitalization. Over 75% of those seniors described “avoidance” strategies only and not proven “prevention” strategies such as exercise or home modifications. These findings confirm the importance of empowering patients to take steps to actively prevent falls rather than merely avoiding behaviors perceived as being risky.
Foot pain has long been suspected of contributing to falls. An Austrailian study (2) recently documented successful interventions for community dwelling older adults with disabling foot pain. Over 300 men and women were divided into intervention and control groups. The intervention group received a multifaceted podiatry intervention including orthoses, advice on and a subsidy for footwear, an exercise program and education while the control group received only routine podiatry care for 12 months. The intervention group experienced 36% fewer falls than the control group and only one fracture versus seven, respectively. The interventions significantly improved strength, range of motion and balance. This study highlights the importance of proper podiatry care, especially for those with severe conditions.
ComForcare helps many families with their eldercare caregiving needs. If you have questions or need help with home care for your loved one, call us we are a home care agency providing in home care in Palm Springs, CA and the surrounding area 760.321.2945 or 800.993.2945 to Lisa Marie Blaskie RN, CCM, CSA
1. Falls After Discharge From Hospital: Is There a Gap Between Older Peoples’ Knowledge About Falls Prevention Strategies and the Research Evidence?
Hill AM, Hoffmann T Beer D, McPhail S, Hill KD, Oliver D, Brauer, Haines TP. Gerontologist, 2011; ePub.