As people age, they experience an increased risk for falling. The risk of falling is a huge issue for elderly patients in long-term-care facilities. Falls can unfortunately negatively impact a patient’s health and general well-being.
Patients can fall for a variety of reasons. These include:
Mobility or function issues
Altered mental status
Previous fall history
About 10% to 20% of nursing home falls cause serious injuries; 2% to 6% cause fractures. Falls drastically change a patient’s quality of life and can result in functional decline and/or disability. In addition, fear of falling can cause depression and feelings of helplessness within a patient. Fear of falling might also result in further loss of function and social isolation in a patient.
To help combat this problem, nurses and CNAs can take precautions and make preemptive plans to help the patients they care for. These universal fall precautions can reduce the risk of patient falls:
Following safe patient handling guidelines to keep yourself and your patients safe
Always utilizing proper safety equipment, like gait belts
Keeping floors clean, dry, and clutter-free, and promptly cleaning up any messes or spills
Identifying at-risk patients and communicating with other staff members about safety plans
Promptly answering call lights
Encouraging and supporting patients to utilize grab-bars
Keeping brake pads locked on moveable devices like wheelchairs and beds when they are stationary
Recognizing and working to prevent potential risk factors, in addition to taking safety precautions, can help nurses and CNAs better care for their residents, and hopefully reduce the risk of falls for the patients. At Kindcare, we strive to support our patients in every aspect, including their safety and physical and mental health. Vigilantly working to reduce a patient’s risk of falling is of the utmost importance to our caregivers.
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