Improving Fall Risk Assessment to Reduce Falls in Assisted Living Communities
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Falls in older adults are a safety issue in all healthcare settings, one measure of quality care, and the primary cause of unintended death among New Mexican adults aged 65 and older. Falls and fall-related interventions have been extensively investigated in acute and post-acute care settings. However, limited evidence exists regarding the importance of falls and fall reduction practices in assisted living communities. Five residents and 12 assisted living staff participated in the study. A prospective, quasi-experimental, repeated measures study was used to determine if using the Morse Fall Scale, Medication Risk Score, and universal or individualized fall reduction strategies reduced falls in adults aged 65 and older in a New Mexico assisted living community. The results of the study demonstrated one fall in the five residents. Continued use of the fall interventions used in this study may reduce falls and fall-related injuries, decrease emergency department and hospital overcrowding, and reduce costs associated with fall-related injuries. Reducing falls will improve morbidity and mortality rates, elevate the safety and quality of life for adults aged 65 and older, and preserve the dignity of our aging population.
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