Fall Prevention: A Fall Risk Assessment
1.0 Contact Hour

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Written by: Karen (Karle) Truman, Ph.D.

To successfully complete this course and receive your certificate, you must read the content online or in the downloadable PDF, pass the post test with a 70% or better, and complete the evaluation form.

The price of this course is $15.00. You will only be asked to pay for the course if you decide to grade the post examination to earn a certificate with contact hours.

Corexcel is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).

This activity was developed by Corexcel without support from any commercial interest.

It is Corexcel's policy to ensure fair balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all programming. In compliance with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) we require that faculty disclose all financial relationships with commercial interests over the past 12 months.

No planning committee member has indicated a relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest involved with the content contained in this course.

Corexcel's provider status through ANCC is limited to educational activities. Neither Corexcel nor the ANCC endorse commercial products.


Learning Objectives

After completing this Fall Prevention course participants should be able to:



Audience

This continuing education course is intended to increase the knowledge and skills of those who are called upon to care for people who are at risk of falling at home, in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or other settings. This course includes relevant information for all members of the interdisciplinary team.


Introduction

Caregivers with Dementia Patient

According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults. In 2004, falls were responsible for 14,900 deaths. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults. The rate of fall-related deaths among older adults in the United States has risen significantly over the past decade.

Many older adults experience a fear of falling. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Falls can change a life in an instant. One moment you are walking along quite nicely and the next moment, you slip and fall and break a bone. You go from being independent to dependent in a flash. Taking a fresh look and approach will allow you to look at prevention measures and create a safer environment for persons who are at risk of falling.

Each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older falls, and 2 million are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. The long-term consequences of fall injuries, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can impact the health and independence of older adults. Rehab and nursing homes are full of people who have seriously injured themselves and will not be able to return home again. Many falls can be prevented by increasing awareness and creating "fall free" zones. Everyone can take actions to protect the older adults they care about.

The vast majority of hip fractures occur after a fall. About 5% appear to be "spontaneous" fractures in which the patient feels a fracture and then falls. Falls to the side are more likely to result in a hip fracture than forward falls. People with a slower gait have less forward momentum, so when these people fall, they tend to buckle and fall to the side, making a fracture more likely. The decrease in bone mass in the elderly is also a big factor in hip fractures.



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