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Medication-Related Fall Risks in Elderly Home Care

Why the topic has been chosen?
Problems identified in practice:

occupational health team and physiotherapist who visit homes of elderly patients to overhaul the care setting at their homes have reported that n majority of risk falls in elderly patinets happens due to dizziness created due to medication. As mentioned by Sharif et al. (2018)., various risk factors enhance the risk of falls in elderly patients in home setting such as lack of mobility, cognitive impairments, sensory deficit and medication use. physiotherapists and occupational healthcare professionals have identified that in elderly patients regular intake of high dose of medicines cause immobility, dizziness, poor balance and black outs that cause recurrent falls at home , As mentioned by Dhargave and Sendhilkumar (2016), in this context, doctors check the regular prescription of elderly patients while checking the care setting of elderly patients at their homes and review the current health status of patients. Here doctors check that which medicines need to be changed and altered with the relevant one to reduce the effect of medicines on physical and mental health of elderly patients. additionally, physiotherapists will check the muscle strength, bones, and join pains of the elderly patients who receive care at their home. physiotherapist train elderly patients to do some useful and easy exercises at their home that will be highly effective for enhancing their muscle strength and self-confidence. While working at the home setting with elderly patients who experienced risk falls, physiotherapist and occupational health staffs identified that the main reason of poor balance, dizziness, blackouts and confusion in elderly people is their regular medication that raises their chances of risk falls and get injured. In most of the cases, the elderly people who experience falls are above 70 years old. Therefore, to reduce the ever-increasing number of hospital admissions of elder people due to falls, it is not sufficient to provide them better care and protection in the hospital setting rather they desperately need a highly protective home environment that will eliminate their chances of recurrent falls in their homes.

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These abovementioned problems make the selection of this topic highly relevant to the current context on elderly falls in the UK. Additionally, this topic is expected to be useful in determining useful approaches that can be used by occupational health team, physiotherapists and family members to protect elderly people from risk fall in their home setting.

Why it is a problem:

Risk falls in elderly patients due to heavy dose of medications is a matter of great concern in recent years as it pose adverse impact on not only the physical heath of old people but also affect their mental and emotional wellbeing badly (Gu and Dennis, 2017). Medications given to elderly patients at the home setting enhance their risk of falls due to dizziness and sudden black out which leads to severe head and leg injuries of patients. on the other hand, due to increasing risk falls of elderly patients at their homes, it becomes difficult for hospital authority to arrange extra beds and other medical facilities for other patients because majority of the beds are occupied by elderly patients. On the other hand, their injuries are so severe that take huge times to be heeled thereby enhances the duration of hospital stay of elderly patients. In this context, hospital authority faces issues in providing enough care and support to other patients because majority of the healthcare staffs are assigned to the emergency ward for taking case of elderly patients. As mentioned by Gu and Dennis (2017), in the modern healthcare industry, the number of beds in the NHS hospitals is less as compared the ever-increasing number of hospital admission of elderly people due to recurrent falls. In this context, for reducing the risk falls in elderly patients in UK, it is important to provide proper medication and secure as well as highly protective home environment to them in which they can get both the physical and psychological support. In addition to this, occupational health team and physiotherapists need to improve the self-dependence and mental strength of elderly patients which will assist them to conduct effective self-management of their health and wellbeing thereby reducing their vulnerability to risk falls (Sharif et al. 2018). Additionally, healthcare professionals also provide proper advice to family members about how to ensure a protective and secure environment for these elderly people at their home to protect them from recurrent falls.

Due to these above-mentioned reasons, the topic is expected to be highly useful in highlighting what problems are associated with risk falls of elderly people. The topic is selected with an intention to improve social awareness regarding the importance of minimisation of falls in elderly people. Additionally, the selected topic is also relevant to the current needs of enhancing public concern regarding reducing the vulnerability of elderly people to risk falls.

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Reference list:
  • Alves, R.L.T., Silva, C.F.M., Pimentel, L.N., Costa, I.D.A., Souza, A.C.D.S. and Coelho, L.A.F., 2017. Evaluation of risk factors that contribute to falls among the elderly. Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia, 20(1), pp.56-66.
  • Dhargave, P. and Sendhilkumar, R., 2016. Prevalence of risk factors for falls among elderly people living in long-term care homes. Journal of clinical gerontology and geriatrics, 7(3), pp.99-103.
  • Gu, Y. and Dennis, S.M., 2017. Are falls prevention programs effective at reducing the risk factors for falls in people with type-2 diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review with narrative synthesis. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 31(2), pp.504-516.
  • Sharif, S.I., Al-Harbi, A.B., Al-Shihabi, A.M., Al-Daour, D.S. and Sharif, R.S., 2018. Falls in the elderly: assessment of prevalence and risk factors. Pharmacy Practice (Granada), 16(3).

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