Falling among elderly adults is now common and you should know how to handle such a situation. You can take healthcare training courses online to know how to be prepared as a caretaker. Statistics predict as many as 7 falling related deaths ever hour by 2030. Elderly people need to be safeguarded from falls and their caregivers would be the best people to receive training in that field.
Why Older People Fall?
Through healthcare training courses online you can know about the potential reasons why older people are more susceptible to falls. By identifying these reasons, it becomes easier to prevent falls. Even in situations where a fall has already occurred, it is still wise to find out what caused that fall so that it may be prevented in the future.
Some common reasons elderly people fall include:
- Lack of balance caused by aging
- Poor eyesight which causes them to trip over things of miscalculating their steps
- An environment that is not friendly to the elderly
- An illness that causes weakness
- Effects of medication
Falling, however, can happen to anyone, even younger people may lose balance and fall. But for younger people, it is much easier to regain balance after tripping over something. The elderly, however, may not have the strength to remain upright and so they may end up falling.
The Need for Individual Understanding
Nurses and caregivers are always taught to analyze individual causes of falling as opposed to believing a general cause. The reason why one adult may fall often could defer from the next one. Some elderly people may fall more often than others.
By carefully studying the causes of falls, it will also become clear that at times it is a combination of reasons for such an incident. A caregiver would be encouraged to take note of all the different reasons an adult in their care is falling and then analyze how each of them can be mitigated.
Categories of Risks
The risks of falling can be categorized into three. When a nurse learns how to categorize the risks, it may become easier to prevent them.
Environmental Risks: These are things in the surrounding that may cause a fall. A wet floor is a common cause of fall not just for the elderly and bathroom falls account for over 80 percent of falls. Other common environmental risks are floor rugs and clothing left on the floor.
Trigger Events: Some unexpected triggers can result in falls. Elderly people with hypertension can have a sudden bout of light-headedness and end up falling, or a child running through the corridor may knock their walking stick and cause them to lose balance and fall.
Health Problems: Weak bones, poor eyesight, and reaction to medication are some of the health problems that can cause an elderly person to fall. A background in nursing makes it easier to differentiate and deal with health-related risks.
Planning for Falls
If a nurse can identify the risks of a specific elderly person, they can then plan what actions to take in the event of a fall. In some cases, despite identifying the risk, it may be impossible to prevent the fall, so the best action is to plan what to do in case of a fall.
Minimizing injury should be at the top of the plan because injuries caused by falls can result in death or long hospital stays as well as diminish the quality of life. Minimizing the risk of injury will involve working with the person under your care to ensure the plans succeed.
It is also good for a nurse to learn the different ways they can help someone back onto their feet or on a chair or bed. The nurse should be able to do this without causing self-injury or to the patient.
After a fall, it is necessary to check for any injuries. Even before moving the person, the nurse must make sure they assess any injury caused by the fall.
Documentation of Falls
Keeping proper and accurate records about falling incidents is vital. It is easier to manage individual cases if there is a documented history of the falls. The training equips the nurse to take good notes about observations as well as incidents. Precautions are taken also need to be recorded.
Documentation will also make it easier to work as a team. On a day when the particular nurse is not available, the substitute can refer to the records to understand the different risks and take necessary action to prevent falls.
Signing Up for Training
Online classes to deal with falling among the elderly are not restricted to medical personnel. Anyone who may be providing care for the elderly can undergo this training so that they are better equipped for the challenge they will face. Even people intending to become nurses dealing with geriatric care can undergo this training.