Falls are the prominent cause of injuries among adults aged 65 and older. Because more than ten thousand American citizens turn 65 every day, the prevention of injuries connected with falls is an issue that should not be ignored. The promotion of health and well-being in elderly is provided by the community-based organizations that expand their efforts to a variety of areas, including fall prevention. In the majority of cases, a community-based organization that wants to prevent falls among elderly should provide a well thought-through program proposal. However, coming up with such a program that can be both effective and affordable is a complicated task (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2015, p. 1).
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Before deciding what fall prevention program should be developed, it is important for the organization to ask some questions about the program for identifying the needs of the community as well as the available resources. The first question is about the available data about the number of falls that can be provided by hospitals and other health departments. The second question is about the support from the members of the organization at the beginning of the program – who is involved and to what extent. The next question to answer is linked to the objectives of the program and the support from the community (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2015, p. 7).
What Florida Does
In Florida, approximately 2,500 citizens are fatally injured due to falls every year whereas almost 63,000 are hospitalized for non-fatal injuries Furthermore, almost a third of such injuries occurs among the older citizens aged 65 and older (Florida Health, n.d., para. 2). Prevention of falls contributes to the saving of funds as the total charges for hospitalization with the injuries caused by falls exceeds $3 billion every year.
In Florida, there are interventions for the elderly population designed predominantly to reduce and prevent falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Council on Aging, provide information on such evidence-based programs. A couple of such interventions include Stepping On (2004), PROFET (Prevention of Falls in the Elderly Trial) (1999), The NoFalls Intervention Day (2002), KAAOS (Falls and Osteoporosis Clinic) (2014), Accident & Emergency Fallers (2005), and many more.
The falls prevention Steady Program to be proposed is best suited for Nursing Homes where the elderly can interact and support each other through the process. As people get older, they increase the risks of falling connected to poor vision, inactive lifestyle, poor balance, and dementia.
The interventions for preventing falls in elderly should be built in the basis of various exercise activities, educational programs, optimization of the medication prescribed, as well as the modification of the environment (Gillespie et al., 2009, p. 4). The interventions for reducing and eliminating falls in elderly include the following:
- Multiple-component group exercises that involve exercises for balance and strength.
- Interventions aimed at improving the safety of a surrounding environment in Nursing Homes. The anti-slip surfaces and specialized footwear can be implemented in this case.
- Because some medications prescribed to the elderly increase the risk of falling, it is recommended to conduct an analysis of such medications, and if safe and possible, gradually withdraw the medicine to improve the individual’s sleeping pattern and reduce anxiety caused by the medication.
- People that struggle with frequent changes in blood pressure and heart rate are also subjected to falls. In this case, insertion of a pacemaker can be instrumental in the reduction of falls. However, it is worth noting that this intervention will not reduce the risks for falling (Barclay, 2012, para. 12).
- Lastly, correction of the visual deficiency in elderly is a procedure that can greatly benefit to the prevention of falls.
By means of implementing the Steady Program, the funding organization can save costs on health care within one year and provide the long-term value for money. Since the elderly will be less frequently admitted to the emergency rooms, the costs will be greatly reduced. According to Robertson and Campbell (2012), the return of investment into falls reduction ranges from 1.0 to 7.0 (p. 1). This means for every $150,000 invested into a program, within one year the investment will be neutral. However, there is a possibility of on the increase of funding availability up to $1,050,000 within a year (Robertson & Campbell, 2012, p. 1). Thus, the recommended starting cost for the Steady Program is $150,000.
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Thus, with increased public awareness of the issue of fall prevention, the Steady Program with the outlined interventions for fall prevention will benefit the elderly and reduce the risks and incidents of falls. Furthermore, the program can save health care costs linked to accidental falling trauma. However, the main outcome of the program linked to increasing the health and well-being of the elderly population in Nursing Homes and beyond to underline the importance of taking care of the elderly population, evaluating, and respecting their needs.
Barclay, L. (2012). Interventions May Reduce Falls in Elderly Living at Home. Web.
Florida Health. (n.d.). Older Adult Falls Prevention. Web.
Gillespie, L., Gillespie, W., Robertson, C., Lamb, S., Cumming, R., & Rowe, B. (2009). Interventions for Preventing Falls in Elderly People. Web.
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2015). Preventing Falls: A Guide to Implementing Effective Community-based Fall Prevention Programs (2nd ed.). Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Robertson, C., & Campbell, J. (2012). Falling Costs: the Case for Investment. Web.