Utilization of fall prevention video for older adults
Walters, K., Johnson, E., Riley, N., Brantley, R. 2020. Utilization of fall prevention video for older adults -- In Proceedings: 16th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p.65
INTRODUCTION: Every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes one dies from a fall (National Council on Aging, 2018). Falls are not a normal process of aging and can be prevented (National, 2008). It is important to implement fall prevention programs before a fall occurs and reduce risk factors that contribute to falls (Yanan, 2016). To reduce fall risk, older adults should incorporate physical activity into their daily life, have a home safety evaluation, review their medications with their primary care provider, and have routine visual examinations. Research on fall prevention is readily available, yet educational tools designed to distribute educational information to the elderly is lacking. PURPOSE: Create a video for hospitals to utilize for educating patients 55 years and older on fall prevention. METHODS: Databases used to confine the literature review were MEDLINE, Cochrane, CINAHL, Pubmed and Google Scholar. Evidence based guidelines from the American Geriatric Society, National Council on Aging, British Geriatric Society and the United States Preventive Services Task Force were utilized. Keywords used were: geriatrics, fall prevention, home modification, cost analysis, frail elderly, balance and gait impairment, pain, accidental falls, medications, and vision. Research is targeted to community dwelling adults 55 years and older. RESULTS: Implementing physical exercise programs to improve overall balance and strength reduces fall risk. Home modifications such as installing handrails and removing clutter from walkways eliminates potential fall hazards. Incorporating visual examinations in a comprehensive physical examination can help providers detect visual impairments and reduce risk of falls. Other interventions such as appropriate eyeglass prescription, cleaning lens and usage of appropriate lighting ensure optimal vision. Finally, regular reviews of medications may identify side effects that may exacerbate fall risk. CONCLUSION: Educating older adults on actions to reduce fall risk will aid them in leading a more independent and safe life. Balance and muscle strengthening programs provide physical foundation to reduce fall risk. Exercise also improves confidence to perform activities of daily living safely. Incorporating home safety measures improves safety in the living environment. Regular vision examinations promote optimal vision. Routine medication reviews, with elimination of medications which increase fall risk, provide a safer environment for older adults. The combination of physical activity, a home safety evaluation, routine vision examinations and frequent medication reviews can reduce fall risk in older adults.
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Research completed in the Department of Physician Assistant, College of Health Professions