A fracture of the Proximal Femur (hip), can be dangerous for anyone but for people over the age of 65 even more so. Every year 3-5% of falls in older adults result in fractures and around 70,000-75,000 hip fractures occur in the UK each year. This costs medical and social care, upwards of £2 billion a year. The figures only show the general statistics, many elderly people never fully recover from a hip fracture and 25% of all incidents end in fatality.
After a fall resulting in a hip fracture, most elderly people will need to stay in institutionalised care for around a year and will often be extremely dependent on their carer. This usually affects the mental attitude of a resident as they may feel like a burden and will often lose confidence in doing day to day activities. Healing from a hip fracture can take up to a year but could take longer if the resident starts to feel less valued or respected, as they will be less likely to want to take part in activities which will aid their rehabilitation.
Preventing falls is the first step to preventing hip fractures. However, preventing falls is not always easy. Having a fall prevention plan will reduce the percentage of falls in any care home. First, fall proof the environment, make sure that all rooms are well lit, especially bathrooms and corridors. Removing any tripping hazards, such as rugs, raised door frames, small steps and so on will immediately help to reduce the risk of falling. All steps should be clearly marked, or a different colour to the rest of the flooring to increase the visibility.
Bathrooms should have seating available for bathing and non-slip mats, another prevention method could be Quick Dry Shower Slippers, they enable the resident to undergo bathing with a reduce risk of slipping on wet surfaces. All chairs should be stable and not have wheels, as the elderly have a decreased perception which could be disorientating for residents, leading to a fall.
It is always important for staff to recognise people who are at an increased risk of a fall, this could be done by implementing a colour coded system of products that quickly identify the level of risk. An example could be a resident who has a condition such as osteoporosis (weak and fragile bones), may wear a yellow bracelet and have yellow slippers, this would help staff immediately identify that they are a resident at risk of falling and may need extra help with activities. Fall management, although very similar to fall prevention is slightly different. When a fall does occur fall management will help decrease the effects of a fall. Protective clothing is a great example; it can come in many forms.
There are many products which can help reduce falls, or even the implications of a fall. Alarms that alert staff immediately of a fall can increase the rate of mortality in falls residents and also help the resident recover at a quicker rate. The longer a resident is left on the ground, the more likely they will begin to feel negative emotions, lack of confidence and experience a more serious injury.
We have products such as the Posey Hipsters which come in many different forms to suit all needs. The most popular are the Posey Hipster brief for men or the Posey Hipster brief for women. However, we do also provide shorts, sweat pants and the EZ-on brief.
The Posey Hipster has high impact-absorbing viscoelastic pads, which help to reduce the impact of falls. The pads are very discreet, meaning residents can be protected from injuries whilst remaining independent. To help prevent falls during the night, Repton Healthcare provide products such as the Posey Mat which can reduce the impact of falls up to 85%. We also provide a series of alarm products which work in conjunction with all nurse call systems, the alarms will help staff quickly identify a resident who has fallen.
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