Risk for Falls

Running head: RISK FOR FALLS
Risk for falls
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Risk for falls
Falls are a common sign of frailty, immobility, as well as acute and health conditions as
people grow old(Hsieh, Heller & Miller, 2008). They are known to reduce the efficiency of the
functioning of the body by inflicting injury, limiting body activity, causing fear of fall as well as
loss of mobility. A combination of falls and osteoporosis is the commonest cause of injuries such
as fractures of the hip, forearm, humerus, and pelvis among the elderly population. There are
several intrinsic, extrinsic factors and environmental factors which are associated with higher
risk of falls(Mesrine, 2010).
To start with, the intrinsic factors that increase the risk of fall include balance and gait,
visual and motor reaction time problems, visual impairments, medication, cognitive problems as
well as cardiovascular causes(Mesrine, 2010). Besides, there are several extrinsic factors which
increase the risk of falls. Some of the critical factors in the etiology of falls which results into
falls when combined with intrinsic factors include behavioral, environmental and psychosocial as
well as activity related factors(Hsieh, Heller & Miller, 2008). Other factors which increase the
risk of fall is environmental factors. There is a correlation between environmental factors of fall
and both intrinsic risk factors and other situational variables(Mesrine, 2010).
When gait belts are used properly, they play a crucial role in preventing falls in
patients(Hsieh, Heller & Miller, 2008). Gait belts help in providing balance assistance to staff
when they are doing ambulation and transfers. Besides, they are essential in ensuring safe
mobility for patients as well as staff. A gait belt is designed to help asset weak, unsteady
individuals to change their positions, stand or as an extra safeguard when the patient is walking
with the help of a walker or a cane. The belt is fitted with a handle which helps the caregiver to
stabilize the patient in case he loses control. A gait belt helps to steady the patient and
consequently, help to reduce fall (Mesrine, 2010).
Hsieh, K., Heller, T., & Miller, A. (2008). Risk factors for injuries and falls among adults with
developmental disabilities. Journal Of Intellectual Disability Research, 45(1), 76-82.
Mesrine, S. (2010). Chronic Pain and Risk of Falls in Older Adults. JAMA, 303(12), 1147.

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