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Caring for the Older Adult at Risk for Falling

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services lists “Falls” as a never event, non-reimbursable when occurring in hospital settings.  Older adults are among the patients at greatest risks for complications related to falls. Falls have been reported to be the second leading cause of unintentional injury and disability in older adults worldwide (Ireland et al, 2013). Older adults can become anxious at the thought of a fall, lose confidence, and fear longer hospitalization.  However, many older adults feel a loss of independence due to the strict fall prevention guidelines implemented in health care settings. With this in mind, how can nurses weigh risks and benefits when implementing fall prevention practices that allow for older adults to feel secure and demonstrate autonomy in their own care? This teaching strategy will guide faculty to teach nursing students how to use sound nursing judgment when weighing the risks and benefits of preventing falls in older adults. This teaching strategy can be utilized in a variety of teaching/learning situations: didactic lectures; clinical settings such as post- clinical conference/debriefings; simulation scenario debriefings; or small seminar discussions. In addition, the teaching strategy can be used with practicing nurses as a professional development activity, as well as when orienting new graduate nurses. 

Caring for the Older Adult at Risk for Falling

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