One of the most important nursing interventions is assessing conditions that are likely to increase your patient’s risk for fall. This can be achieved by familiarizing yourself with the patient’s medical history in regards to falls, a change in their mental status, medication that they may be on, sensory deficits, and the symptoms that they exhibit in relation to their disease. The rationale behind this is that proper assessment helps to determine the necessary fall precautions.
It is also important that the caregiver assesses a patient’s environment to check for factors that may increase fall risks.
Studies show that patients who are at a higher risk for falls should remain in settings that they are familiar with as iit reduces chances for falls. There also shouldn’t be improper placement of equipment and furniture in their environment.
In chances where the elderly patients suffer from impaired short-term memory, it is highly advisable that the caregiver orients them to their environment.
As a caregiver, your patient should always feel comfortable and free to ask for assistance whenever they need it. Safety should always be accessible to them even if it means keeping the lights on throughout the night. In addition to this, the call bell or button should be accessible and functional at all times.
It is also important that the patient wears wristband identification at all times. This will help notify any other caregiver or healthcare provider to take any necessary precaution to guard against fall. In large health settings, these wristbands go a long way in helping caregivers identify all the patients that are at risk of falling.
It is also important that the patient’s bed is kept as low as possible and adjacent to the floor. This greatly reduces risk for fall. The side rails on the bed should always be propped up. This measure is better than using restraints on the patients.
The walkways should be kept as clear as possible as older patients may experience difficulty walking around obstacles. The patient’s medication should be studied as it may put them at risk for falling.. The side effects of the medication are likely to compromise the patient’s safety.
Finally, if the patient is at home, it is important to advise the family members to stay with them at all times. The presence of a familiar face keeps them calm and may even decrease confusion especially with patients with delirium.
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