To prevent negative outcomes, such as injuries and hospitalizations, the risks of falling in home-bound patients must be addressed with evidence-based intervention. These key interventions have been proven by research and could help to resolve this issue.
- Comprehensive Fall Risk Assessment: An assessment of the patient’s fall risks is an important first step to prevent falls at home. The assessment should include a review of the patient’s medical history, medications, functional status, and home environment. The assessment should also consider the patient’s risk factors for falls, such as age, cognitive impairment, and previous falls. According to research, a fall risk assessment that is comprehensive can help reduce falls up to 60 percent (Yoder-Wise & Co., 2019).
- Patient education. Patient education plays a vital role in fall prevention at home. The patient should be informed about the risk of falling and what steps can be taken to avoid it. Exercises to improve strength and balance, changes to the environment at home, or medication management may be included. Patient education reduces the risk of falling up to 23 percent (Spath 2018).
- Home modifications: It is possible to reduce the chance of a patient falling at home by modifying the environment. It may be necessary to remove trip hazards or install grab bars in bathrooms and improve lighting. According to research, home modifications can lower the chance of falling by as much as 25%. (YoderWise 2019)
- Management of medication is a key component in preventing falls among patients living at home. Patients need to be informed about side effects, especially those that may affect cognitive and balance function. To reduce the chance of falling, medications should be regularly reviewed and adjusted as necessary. According to research, medication management reduces the risk of falling by as much as 24%.
- Monitor and Follow Up: Monitoring and following up are important to confirm that interventions for fall prevention are effective, and to determine new risks factors. Monitoring patients regularly is essential to ensure they follow their care plan. Any new risks for falling should also be identified. According to research, regular monitoring and follow-up can help reduce the chance of a fall by 30%.
To conclude, the prevention of falls among patients in their homes is a complex problem that calls for evidence-based intervention to avoid adverse outcomes. The key interventions are a comprehensive assessment of fall risks, patient education and home modifications, medication management and monitoring, as well as follow-ups and surveillance. These have all been proven by research to be effective in helping resolve this issue. The implementation of these interventions, in a methodical and scientific manner can help reduce the risks of falling and improve patient outcomes.