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Gerontological Nursing 2 credit undergraduate course Page 12 of 20

Week 6: Falls & trauma

Readings: Required:

Gerontologic Nursing, 2nd edition Chapter 12: Safety, pages 232-255

Learning Objectives: Describe demographics related to falls in older adults Identify risk factors related to falls in older adults Identify components in an evaluation of a fall Discuss interventions for fall prevention and minimizing injury in older adults

Lecture/discussion:

  • 1.

    Demographics related to falls in older adults

    • a.

      Injuries, acute care costs, hospitalization, long-term trajectory

  • 2.

    Normal age-related anatomical/physiological/functional changes that contribute to falls

    • a.

      Sensory

      • i.

        Vision, hearing

    • b.

      Cardiovascular

    • c.

      Musculoskeletal

    • d.

      Neurologic

  • 3.

    Risks

    • a.

      Intrinsic

      • i.

        Postural hypotension

      • ii.

        Impaired mobility / gate / balance

      • iii.

        Acute and chronic illness

      • iv.

        polypharmacy

    • b.

      Extrinsic

      • i.

        Environmental hazards

    • c.

      Mulitfactorial etiologies

  • 4.

    Types of falls

    • a.

      Isolated falls

    • b.

      Accidental falls

    • c.

      Cluster falls

    • d.

      Premonitory falls (produced by specific medical illnesses)

    • e.

      Prodromal falls

    • f.

      Drop attack

    • g.

      Intentional falls

  • 5.

    Fall Consequences

    • a.

      Physical injury

    • b.

      Psychologic trauma

  • 6.

    Fall assessment

    • a.

      History

    • b.

      Physical examination:

      • i.

        Vision

      • ii.

        CV

      • iii.

        Extremities

      • iv.

        Neurologic system

Permission is hereby granted to reproduce, post, download, and/or distribute, this material for not-for-profit educational purposes only, provided that Northwest Coalition for Geriatric Nursing Education is cited as the source. This material may be downloaded and/or distributed in electronic format, including PDF format. Available on the internet at www.geronursinged.org E-mail notification of usage to: soncgne@ohsu.edu

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