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Falls

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Falls are considered to be a very serious and devastating problem for older people nowadays. It is recommended to be aware of the basic assessment tools and management techniques in order to prevent and avoid such a significant risk for health. Highly-qualified nurses should know how to assess patients and decrease the risk of further falls with the help of profound knowledge and modern techniques. This article under the title “Preventing falls in older people: assessment and interventions” helps to shed more light on the issue of falls and its daily practice. This article discusses an actual and serious matter, as it is related not only to the health issue but also to the social activities in the community setting.

The issue of falls and fractures is usually associated with huge expenses and negative personal experience for the majority of older people. The necessity to prevent falls in older people is explained by a large percent of accident-related mortality level due to some serious fractures. The consequences of falling and its further treatment and rehabilitation turn out to be very expansive and long-term. Moreover, falls often result in a number of limitations in our daily life, including social isolation and complete loss of dignity. As for the risk of future falls, it is usually explained by such factors as a lack of balance and muscular strength.

There are several most typical factors, affecting the risk of falls in older people. According to the general classification, it is possible to mark out extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors. The first type of risk factors has a complex origin and depends on a set of external circumstances and the second one is usually related to some personal feature or state of an individual. It is also important to remember that falls can be provoked by environmental hazards. The risk of falls can also be a result of drugs and alcohol use, certain age-related physiological changes and a great range of medical and environmental causes. The assessment of falls risk is required in order to identify patients who are more likely to experience falling again and, thus, manage to prevent this process and undesired consequences. According to this article, the assessment techniques should be easy and they should not require much time and efforts. The main assessment methods include Stratify prediction tool, Falls Risk assessment Tool (FRAT), the Cannard Tool, the Downtown Tool and Morse Falls Scale. The main difference within these methods is in speed, effectiveness, simplicity and accuracy.

This article offers guidelines to prevent falls in older people that consist of three questions. These questions determine whether the patient had an actual fall, experienced some problems or difficulties with balance and it also identifies the frequency of falls. If the individual has some positive answers, it shows the high risk of falling and experience one more fall in the nearest time. Only the profound and deep analysis of falls history can show the true reasons and factors, influencing and provoking it. Making falls history may turn out to be a real challenge, as some older people experience difficulties in recalling the events. That is why nurse should understand the importance of ethics in her practice. Patients can experience strong embarrassment and fear to look silly or at loss. That is why it is recommended to obtain the required information and all the necessary answers from the close friends or relatives.

The next and the most important step in falls prevention is managing the risk of falls. This article mentions two most widespread and effective management strategies such as a multifactorial and a multi-component ones. It is considered that multi-component management strategies turn out to be the most effective in falls risk prevention, though the practice may be quite long-term. As for the multifactorial strategies, they are known to show a faster result and decrease the number of falls significantly. The importance of nursing care is also in constant investigating of the patient’s health condition, including the initial stage before the fall, the fall itself and the symptoms after the fall. Nursing care, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy are essential in order to assess the patient’s condition and falls risk. Occupational therapy is also known for an effective falls managing. With the help of occupational therapy it is possible to observe and assess the environment of older people and exclude all the likely falls risks. The positive impact of podiatry is in reducing the risk of falling by wearing shoes with low or flat heels and having no difficulty with balance in such a way.

Adult Health Nurse Practitioner is a rather important profession nowadays as such professionals serve as the main care providers for the majority of adults in any situation (Chitty & Black, 2007).  This profession is closely related with the basic help adults need in case of some injury or a specific health problem, and adult health nurse practitioners usually provide adults with the required knowledge and information in order to prevent further risks and negative consequences (Sullivan-Marx, 2010). The main activities adult health nurse practitioners perform usually include consulting with patients in case of some problem, examining them and providing assistance in case of such widespread diseases as flu or cold. Moreover, it is possible to compare adult health nurse practitioner with a family doctor as their roles and responsibilities are nearly the same (Lundy & Janes, 2009). Adult nurse practitioners also deal with some of the basic and obligatory immunizations for adults (White, Duncan & Baumle, 2010). In other words, adult nurse practitioners are expected to provide all adults with primary healthcare, in spite of their age, which can include both the adolescence period and the old age.

In my opinion, adult nurse practitioner is a profession full of challenges and as such, people have to deal with a wide range of tasks and activities. Adult nurse practitioners must be able to provide help and assistance to different patients and also manage to develop and successfully implement nursing care plans. However, those people, who are involved in nursing career, understand the importance of help and true compassion for many patients who are suffering for some reason. It is very important to be aware of all the differences in falls risk assessment tools and be able to choose the most appropriate one for each patient. Older people require our additional attention and certain efforts in order to cope with such a problem as falls. 

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