Falls prevention training is essential for not only clinical staff working in acute and subacute settings but also for families who are living with the elderly or may have an elderly family member. Falls prevention and management will help to minimise the risk of falls occurring and it can reduce the risk of injury when a fall does occur.
Falls can be a very complex problem as they have multiple causes and risk factors. Preventing falls is not an easy thing to do, but there are many different things that we can do to reduce the risk. Hospital settings will routinely use certain strategies in order to prevent falls. Some of the strategies won’t work for all patients and all surrounding settings. Consultations will take place where plans are chosen with the clinical team and organisation factors are taken into account. Once you have completed the falls prevention training, you will be issued with a certificate.
During the training you will cover the following:
- Discuss and define the significance of falls
- Recognise the falls risk during an identification process
- Identify and discuss the risk factors for falls that are environmentally, and patient-centred
- Recognise risk assessment and management plans and view it as a tool to implement preventative strategies for individualised falls
- Demonstrate how the intervention strategies are implemented in response to the identified risks
- Recognise the local health district policies and procedures forms the framework for the safe, accountable prevention and management of falls.
Educating the Family, the Patient and the Carers
It is important to provide personal falls prevention education to the family, carers and the patient. Discuss with them their knowledge and perceptions of the fall risks and their goals for their hospital stay. Encourage the patients to ask for help when needed and understand that handing someone a brochure about the prevention of falls is simply not enough. Talking face to face with the family and the patient is essential. Slips, trips and falls training will be necessary to help the elderly as they age.
Each education session will go through the following:
- Position mobility aids close to the patient
- Reducing clutter around the bedside
- Having the nurse call button within reach
- Give orientations to the patients on the ward and give out regular reorientations to those who have cognitive impairments
- Locking in wheels on the bed
- Providing easy access to objects a person needs like glasses, magazines and TV controls
- Help patients put on clothing and footwear
- Ensure adequate lighting
- Encourage the patients to walk often, even for short distances
- Provide assistance or supervision for walking if needed
- Keep hallways clear and provide safe seating
Active ageing offers a great range of online learning modules which will help you find the right ways to help those who are elderly and frail or need extra assistance. It is important that everyone knows about how to prevent falls. Supermarkets are especially notorious for causing falls amongst the elderly. Therefore this must be heavily considered when creating a falls prevention plan and management strategy. Every year there is one in three people who are 65 and over who will suffer a fall. As people age, their risk of falling grows significantly. A lot of the hospitalisations for the elderly are due to falls.
Learning online can be a great resource for those who have elderly family members. If you are working with elderly patients in aged care homes, fall prevention training will be included in the aged care course.