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Falls in Dementia Patients

Abstract

Dementia is considered as collective term used for describing different symptoms of cognitive decline like forgetfulness, difficulty in framing words, mood changes, confusion and others (Livingston et al., 2017). In the UK, as per 2018, there are 850,000 people reported to be living with dementia (alzheimers.org.uk, 2018). This indicates that it has widely affected many individuals in the UK regarding which discussion is to be made so that effective actions towards its control can be promoted. Moreover, people with dementia are prone to experience falls out of weakened muscles and inability to keep effective balance of the body which leads to bruises and major injury (Fernando et al., 2017). Thus, discussion regarding falls in dementia is to be focused in the study so that key causes and the way to prevent falls can be identified to ensure better health and well-being of individuals.

Rationale

According to reports, 1 in 6 people affected by dementia are 80 years and above whereas 1 in 14 people affected by dementia are 65 years and above (alzheimers.org.uk, 2018). This informs that the disease is prevalent among the elderly and its risk of affecting people increases with age. The people who are 65 years and above in the UK are considered to be at highest risk of falling and the risk increases with progressing age. This is evident as 30% people who are 65 years and older are found to be at risk of fall whereas nearly 50% people who are 80 years and above are considered to be at high risk of facing falls (dementiastatistics.org, 2019). Since dementia mostly affects the elderly, there is increased risk of facing falls by them which would lead them to be injured and experience deteriorated cognitive as well as physical health condition.

The presence of dementia among the elderly is also seen to increase risk of falls among them. This is because in dementia the brain cells are damaged which leads the cells experience hindrance in communicating with one another to support holistic functioning of the body. It eventually results the patients with dementia to experience confusion and hindered balance of the body leading them to experience falls (Ungar et al., 2016). Thus, discussion regarding falls in dementia patient is to be made so that its impact, factors leading to risk of falls and way to manage them are identified for avoiding the risk of health for the individuals.

Aim

The aim of the study is to determine the impact, factors contributing to and prevention strategies for coping with falls among dementia patients.

Objectives

  • To identify the impact of falls among dementia patients
  • To examine the factors contributing to risk of falls among dementia patients
  • To analyse the challenges experienced due to falls among dementia patients
  • To recommend strategies for overcoming challenges regarding falls among dementia patients

Methodology

The qualitative research methodology will be used in executing the research. This is because it allows gathering in-depth with effective reference to scientific theories and concepts which helps to ensure validity and reliability of the study without any influence of biasness (Soilemezi et al., 2019). Moreover, qualitative research leads to create openness by gathering wide amount of data regarding the study topic from various sources (Peach et al., 2017). Thus, it will be used in framing the study so that detailed scientifically approved data from various sources regarding falls in dementia are presented in the study. However, the quantitative research methodology will not be used in the study. This is because it leads to gather narrower and in some cases superficial data regarding the topic that leads towards hindered analysis and presentation of findings. Moreover, the data gathered in quantitative research are limited as they are described through numerical facts and do not involve narrative information for elaborate understanding of the way the data is formed (Dolatabadi et al., 2018). Thus, it will not be used in the study as quantitative research methodology is going to provide limited scope to the researcher in presenting information and findings in the study.

Methods

The study method will include use of thematic analysis as secondary data analysis method for examining the gathered information. This is because thematic analysis helps to categorise vast amount of data into themes for its systematic presentation in the study. Moreover, it allows the researcher to have increased flexibility in presenting data from multiple sources, in turn, acting to ensured enriched execution of research (Brooke and Semlyen, 2019).

Sample

The sample will include 10 existing literature which are published on and after 2015 so that most current information regarding the study topic is gathered. Moreover, the literature that includes information regarding falls among dementia patients will be included in the study so that relevant information are gathered and presented in the study. The academic articles will be used in gathering information as they contain validated findings backed by scientific experiment and proof to ensure reliability of the data.

Concept Map

 Concept Map

Ethics Statement

The approval of the project will be gathered from the ethics committee in the University to ensure that it follows all the legal rules and policies in presenting an effective study.

Anticipated Outcome

The key themes that will be raised from the topic as outcome includes impact of falls among dementia patients, factors contributing to falls among dementia patients, challenges faced due to falls in dementia patients and prevention strategies for managing falls among the dementia patients. According to Fernando et al. (2017), impact of falls among the dementia patients includes physiological injuries such as bruises and fractures. This is because the bones with progressing age are found to be weakened and thus accidental falls lead the dementia patients who are mainly elderly experience fracture and intense bruises which are painful for them. As argued by Meyer et al. (2017), factors contributing to the falls among dementia are their lack of control of the body muscles for maintaining balance. This leads the individuals to face injuries and experience challenges with executing everyday activities, walking, independence in taking care and others. Thus, the focus on the themes will be done to gather further results to determine knowledge regarding falls among the dementia patients.

References

alzheimers.org.uk 2018, Dementia: Facts for the media, Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-us/news-and-media/facts-media#:~:text=There%20are%20currently%20around%20850%2C000,age%20of%2080%20have%20dementia. [Accessed on: 7 August 2020]

Brooke, J. and Semlyen, J., 2019. Exploring the impact of dementia-friendly ward environments on the provision of care: A qualitative thematic analysis. Dementia, 18(2), pp.685-700.

Dolatabadi, E., Van Ooteghem, K., Taati, B. and Iaboni, A., 2018. Quantitative mobility assessment for fall risk prediction in dementia: a systematic review. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders, 45(5-6), pp.353-367.

Fernando, E., Fraser, M., Hendriksen, J., Kim, C.H. and Muir-Hunter, S.W., 2017. Risk factors associated with falls in older adults with dementia: a systematic review. Physiotherapy Canada, 69(2), pp.161-170.

Livingston, G., Sommerlad, A., Orgeta, V., Costafreda, S.G., Huntley, J., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Burns, A., Cohen-Mansfield, J. and Cooper, C., 2017. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet, 390(10113), pp.2673-2734.

Meyer, C., Hill, S., Hill, K.D. and Dow, B., 2017. Sharing knowledge of falls prevention for people with dementia: insights for community care practice. Australian journal of primary health, 23(5), pp.464-470.

Peach, T., Pollock, K., van der Wardt, V., das Nair, R., Logan, P. and Harwood, R.H., 2017. Attitudes of older people with mild dementia and mild cognitive impairment and their relatives about falls risk and prevention: A qualitative study. PLoS One, 12(5), p.e0177530.

Soilemezi, D., Drahota, A., Crossland, J. and Stores, R., 2019. The role of the home environment in dementia care and support: systematic review of qualitative research. Dementia, 18(4), pp.1237-1272.

Ungar, A., Mussi, C., Ceccofiglio, A., Bellelli, G., Nicosia, F., Bo, M., Riccio, D., Martone, A.M., Guadagno, L., Noro, G. and Ghidoni, G., 2016. Etiology of syncope and unexplained falls in elderly adults with dementia: syncope and dementia (SYD) study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 64(8), pp.1567-1573.


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