By: Pat Devaney, President
Medical Nurse Training, Inc.
The focus of this blog is to call attention to the risk of falls and new solutions in both education and technologies. To receive all the information available you can go to www.MedicalNurseTraining.com and www.SaferFalls.com
Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that over 60% of fatal falls occur in the home. Additionally the total cost of falls in 2010 is expected to be between 68 and 100 Billion Dollars.
Most of this cost and loss of life is completely preventable through new fall prevention, fall protection and safer falls education. Many of these medically significant events include hip fracture, head injury, fear of falling again, broken vertebrae and broken wrist. Much of this information is virtually unknown to the general public.
Over 44 million baby boomers live at home with an elderly sick parent according to The Caring Alliance. Another 25 million at risk elderly live alone and unprotected from devastating falls. The current economic conditions have exacerbated these numbers. Since life expectancy has continued to increase this situation is likely to become even more prevalent. The faller may need to move in with adult children and adult children often have to take time off work to care for at risk parents. The costs emotionally and physically to the person who falls and their families is enormous.
l Annually there are approximately 370,000 hip fractures.
l Falls are the major cause of 40% of nursing home admissions and subsequent costs to families.
l Per year, of those admitted to a hospital only about 50 % will survive a serious fall.
l Old age sets in with the first fall, mortality with the second.
l Falls are the leading cause of accidental death.
l More than 33% of adults 65 and older fall each year.
l Of those who fall 20 to 30% suffer severe injuries.
l The U. S. life expectancy increased from 75.5 years in 1993 to 77.6 years in 2003. These changes have resulted in a U. S. population with a greater proportion of older adults who are living with chronic disease, leaving them at great risk for falling and less likely to survive the injuries resulting from a fall. (CDC, 2005)
l Research shows that more than a third of all older adults fall each year and 10-20% of falls cause serious injuries such as fractures or head traumas. (Stevens, 2005)
l Injury from a fall is the 4th major cause of death in older adults.
l Costs include hospital and nursing home care, doctors and other professional services, rehabilitation, community services, medical equipment, medications, changes that need to be made to the home and insurance processing. (CDC, 2005)
l The cost emotionally and physically to the person who fell and their families is enormous as well.
l The faller may need to move in with adult children, adult children may need to take time off of work to care for their parent.
l In short, many lives can be forever changed by a severe fall. The quality of their life may never return to its pre-fall state.
l Recurrent falls are a common reason for admission of previously independent elderly persons to long-term care institutions.
l Fear of falling and the post fall anxiety syndrome are also well recognized as negative consequences of falls.
l The loss of self-confidence to ambulate safely can result in self-imposed functional limitations. (Brown, 1999)
The President of Medical Nurse Training, Mr. Devaney is available to speak to the new technologies and education for your program or for home utilization. Medical Nurse Training is the premier portal for training nurses and doctors utilizing a nationally known Geriatric Doctor, the Assistant Director of Nursing at Johns Hopkins and Patrick Devaney who has over 25 years experience lecturing on these topic to tens of thousands of nurses, doctors and healthcare facilities. Anyone who is above the age of 55 or has a relative, who is at risk for falls, is confused or agitated, has Alzheimer’s, or presents elopement risks at home will be very interested in this new material. This information will be invaluable to seniors and their families.
Mr. Devaney’s mother died as the result of an unnecessary hip fracture. This loss could have easily been prevented with one of these new devices or education techniques. Numerous lives have already been saved with these clinically proven devices.
Additionally, we have partnered with the leading manufacturers of these low cost fall prevention technologies to provide these fall products predominately available only through hospitals and nursing homes to the general public at institutional prices.
By going to www.MedicalNurseTraining.com you can get a broad overview of the types of programs we offer to the medical community, families, seniors and review our educational materials. We would welcome a discussion of how your family or your program and listeners/viewers will greatly benefit from this information. This piece will be of interest to most if not all. These medically sound approaches will eventually get attention and will reduce government costs in the Billions of dollars over the next few years. You can also review clinical references on this site. Thank you for reviewing this important material. We look forward to working with you for the appearance on your program.
Medical Nurse Training provides the latest on-line training to Doctors and Nurses on fall prevention and protection. This includes in-house education on devices that will reduce injury from falls and related deaths and on-line education for those concerned about falls at home.
Hip Protectors – High Impact – absorbing pads that help protect hip bones against injury from falls. About 320,000 people suffer a hip fracture every year. These pads are built into brief’s, panties, sweat pants and sweat shorts. They can easily be laundered and re-used numerous times to help protect from falls. The use of these devices has been clinically proven to reduce fall injuries. Many individuals that experience a fall are afraid to continue normal activities like walking. These devices help these people resume a normal life. Hip Fracture is one of the number one causes of death in older individuals. Our experience shows that hip protectors are generally not known by the general public
Fall Alarms – Inexpensive bed and chair exit electronic monitors otherwise known as Fall Alarms, assist with the observation of patients and family members to help reduce falls and the potential for elopement from home or a facility. A variety of sensor accessories may be used including toileting sensors, bed/chair sensors, infrared sensors and self releasing sensors may be attached to the monitor to reduce risk. These alarms include a gentle voice reminder not to get up without assistance. Pendants to call caregivers when help is needed are also very useful.
Floor Cushions and Bath Mats – Certain areas of the home are very high risk for injury from falls like the bathroom. Special floor cushions and bath mats are designed to help reduce the impact from a fall and are frequently talked about in the clinical literature. These floor cushions are tri-fold in design, making them convenient to carry to areas requiring the most immediate protection.
Bathrooms are also very high risk zones. The sure step bath mat can be used to significantly reduce the impact of a fall. The mat is impervious to water and bacterial growth and can be custom cut to fit the contours of any bathroom or floor.
Please go to www.MedicalNurseTraining.com for more information on these programs and devices.