In a recent Hartford County nursing home lawyer injury blog, our attorneys discussed the problem of falls in nursing homes, with over 300,000 individuals over the age of 65 experiencing a hip fracture every year, often leading to injury or even death.
According to a recent University of Maryland School of Medicine study, hip fractures continue to be a major challenge among older individuals and will continue to grow rapidly as our population ages. The study discusses the opportunity available for the medical community to help prevent falls, by intervening and taking precautions with the elderly population.
The study recommends the following interventions:
• Screening for and treating osteoporosis in elderly patients, especially elder men who are rarely diagnosed for osteoporosis, even after an osteoporotic fracture.
• Nutritional interventions have proven to be effective in preventing hip fractures, including the appropriate levels of vitamin D and calcium, as the majority of elderly individuals who are at-risk for falls and fractures have a deficiency in key nutrients.
• Behavioral exercises that include physical activity encouraging walking, weight-beating activity and resistance training have been linked to the reduction of nursing home falls and fractures.
• Other prevention strategies to decrease falls include reducing the number of medications, especially sedatives, sleeping pills, antihistamines, or psychoactive drugs, as well as modifying an elderly person’s home to avoid fall hazards, especially with a person who has previously fallen or is at-risk for falling.
The study hopes that by implementing fall-related interventions, future generations of elderly individuals will be better able to handle the traumatic falls without injury because of better bone health and strength. Also, the study states that with continuing research, experts will be able to identify new approaches to the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals who have suffered from hip fractures in order to improve quality of life and reduce the problem of fall-related injuries on individuals, their families and on society as a whole.
Impact of Trauma-Related Hip Fractures on the Older Adult, Clinical Geriatrics, June 2010
Related Web Resources:
Related Blog Posts:
Elderly Hip Fractures and Nursing Home Falls, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, July 29, 2011
Nursing Home Fall Awareness and Prevention, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, May 6, 2011
Nursing Facility Fall Leads to Death of Escaping Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, April 21, 2011
Reducing Nursing Home and Hospital Falls to Prevent Patient Injury, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, December 7, 2010