1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
I've fallen and I Can't Get Up; Promoting Home Safety for the Older Patient
Melaine "Tudy" Giordano, BA, RN, CPFT, RCP, Saturday, December 6, 1997.
Home Safety Facts * Annually, 186,000 hip fractures are a result of adverse drug reactions. * Over 622,000 older adults are treated, annually, in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained at home. * Falls are the most common cause of fatal injuries in the older adult. * Currently, 7 million older adults have mobility and/or self care limitations.
A picture is worth a thousand words. By visiting an older patients in their homes, the RCP can obtain crucial information pertaining to their patient's functional ability as well as the identification of potential hazards within the home environments. Many homes, unknowingly, are full of potential booby-traps for those who have visual, cognitive, mobility, and auditory impairments. Measures to enhance home safety can be simply installing grab bars, smoke alarms and door locks or as involved as widen doors or lowering cabinets. The monetary cost of these improvement is unquestionably more cost effective than the medical expenses incurred from the accidents within the home. Health Care Professionals who have the posses the knowledge and skills to detect hazards, before they result in accidents, will provide an invaluable service to the patient as well a the health care system.
AARC 50th Anniversary, December 6 - 9, 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana.