Studying the problem of falls among the population of elderly patients is necessary due to the high risks of mortality and morbidity associated with them. Injuries related to falls in older adults are common and represent one of the major causes of long-term pain and functional impairment among the target population. The increased occurrence of falls has been attributed to the changing anatomic characteristics of individuals as they age, behavioral, environmental, biological, and socio-economic challenges, the development of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and other pathologies, as well as the lack of care and attention to the changing needs of older adults (McPhee et al., 2016). The problem is significant in the current context of nursing due to the range of complications that develop as a result of falls, including fractures, long-term pain, and post-traumatic stress.
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Researchers have explored multiple methods of fall prevention to identify the most effective ones, as well as those that older patients will be able to implement with minimum supervision from healthcare providers. Thus, exercise programs targeted at reducing the occurrence of falls in the elderly have been chosen for further exploration because of their widespread use in the medical practice as well as the overall benefits to the health of older patients (Burton et al., 2015). The purpose of the current study is to determine the impact of exercises, training on gait balance, and behavioral modification on the reduction of falls among the elderly population. The range of available interventions on fall prevention can be used as best practice examples and help researchers in the present study make conclusions regarding the effectiveness of behavioral changes, the improvement of gait balance, and exercises.
In the current study, the key research question is the following: does elderly education on the issue of fall prevention using exercises, gait balance, and behavioral modification reduce the rate of falls among older adults? There may be a further gradation of research questions to reaching the desired level of specifics. These questions are the following:
- Which educational interventions are usually implemented to reduce falls in the elderly?
- What is the effect of regular exercise on reducing fall occurrence?
- What is the effect of balance modification efforts on reducing fall occurrence?
- Which behavioral procedures are the most effective in fall reduction?
Based on the previous research on the reduction of falls among older patients, it can be hypothesized that elderly education in the form of the abovementioned strategies will reduce the occurrence of falls. The null hypothesis for the study implies that there will be no significant statistical relationship between the education of older adults and the reduction of falls. Key study variables will include the level of education on falls within the target population, the rate of falls among older adults, patients’ age, family status, the availability of daily support, living conditions, and previous experiences with implementing fall prevention interventions. In the study, important operational variables include the level of education on falls, previous experiences with prevention interventions, and the rate of falls. The level of education refers to the extent to which the subjects understand the procedures associated with the reduction of falls, while previous experience relates to the exposure of patients to interventional procedures of fall prevention. The rate of falls is defined as the number of accidents in the form of falling as proportionate to the total number of older individuals.
Burton, E., Cavalheri, V., Adams, R., Browne, C. O., Bovery-Spencer, P., Fenton, A. M., … Hill, K. D. (2015). Effectiveness of exercise programs to reduce falls in older people with dementia living in the community: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical interventions in aging, 10, 421-434.
McPhee, J. S., French, D. P., Jackson, D., Nazroo, J., Pendleton, N., & Degens, H. (2016). Physical activity in older age: perspectives for healthy ageing and frailty. Biogerontology, 17(3), 567-580.