Long-Term Care

Fall prevention for high risk residents

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, March 11, 2010

Residents are at high risk of falls during their first week of admission because they are new to the facility, which means they are less likely to be familiar and comfortable with their surroundings. No risk screening tool alone will identify all at-risk populations or risk factors. Take a fall history upon admission. Do not wait until the Minimum Data Set (MDS) and other risk assessments are done to care plan the fall risk. Risk factors that can be identified at the time of admission include:

  • Surfaces
  • Resident has a history of stroke, cognitive impairment, arthritis, incontinence, and various other cardiovascular, neuromuscular, orthopedic, or psychiatric diagnoses
  • Delirium
  • Resident is acutely ill/has a condition that alters the ability to metabolize and excrete drugs
  • Resident is taking antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives/hypnotics, antidepressants, cardiovascular medications, laxatives, or diuretics
  • Resident takes four or more drugs daily
  • Resident uses restraints/side-rails
  • Resident has a history of previous falls

This is an excerpt from HCPro’s book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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