Health Policy Analysis

Problem Statement

  • Rising cases of falls among older adults
  • Unintentional result in fatal and non-fatal injuries
  • Causes deaths, injuries, costs, fear, and stress
  • Florida’s affected population is above 65 years (Vieira et al., 2016)
  • Over 2,600 people fatally injured in 2015

Prevalence of falls among older adults affects their life and that of their family members. Most of the established approaches are faced by uncertainty and controversy.

Background

  • Many reasons why older adults may fall
  • Encompass different biological, environmental, and behavioral aspects
  • Have many negative effects for older adults (Moncada & Mire, 2017)
  • Encompass mandatory relocation from family and home
  • Reducing falling instances increases quality of life

Over and above affecting patients, the prevalence of falls among older adults in Miami, Florida poses a great burden on the healthcare system. Exercise-based and customized interventions have been found to be effective.

Landscape

  • Much of the state lies in peninsula
  • Greatest region is low-lying and comparatively level
  • Away from coastline has rolling hills, elevations
  • Populated areas such as Miami on coast
  • Rising sea levels linked to climate change (Cuevas-Trisan, 2017)

Risk Factor

  • One risk aspect is a previous fall
  • Chronic medical condition, for example, stroke, arthritis
  • Home conditions such as poor lighting, slipperiness (Moncada & Mire, 2017)
  • Others include fear of falling, medicine (interaction)
  • Poor hearing, vision, unhealthy nutrition, mobility problems

Demographic attributes such as female sex and older age raises the risk of falls. There is a need to address problems such as physical impairments, functional restrictions, disabilities, and environmental obstacles as a major step towards reducing the likelihood of falls among older adults.

Challenges

  • Time limitations due to competing medical demands
  • Care fragmentation interferes with prevention of falls
  • Lack of coordinated effort for effective intervention (Moncada & Mire, 2017)
  • Difficulty monitoring activities concerning multiple health professionals
  • Inadequate finances and insufficient knowledge among professionals

Vitamin D deficiency is an alleged setback in the prevention of falls among older adults coupled with acute or chronic health problems.

Options

  • Numerous evidence-based interventions exist for older adults
  • Encompass programs intended particularly to prevent falls
  • The CDC has resources for concerned providers (Cuevas-Trisan, 2017)
  • Include a compendium of evidence-based falls interventions
  • National Council on Aging has valuable information

Mission/Goals

  • Stepping On seeks to reduce falls’ prevalence
  • Eradicate fear of falls among older adults
  • Enhance vital steps such as vision checks (Moncada & Mire, 2017)
  • Improve medication management, safety, strength and balance
  • 50% reduction of falls among older adults

Emerging Treatment

  • Rising application of technology to reduce falls
  • Technology includes exergaming (exercise on video game)
  • Exergames have motion sensors and remote controls
  • Players to move when playing video game (Cuevas-Trisan, 2017)
  • Offer immediate feedback regarding quality of movement

Guidelines

  • Obstacles include insufficient time, demand patient priorities
  • Crucial assessment of neurological and cognitive functions
  • Valuable evaluation of the feet and footwear (Moncada & Mire, 2017)
  • Appraisal of daily activities encompassing mobility aids
  • Review of present activity levels, perceived ability

Recommendations

  • Vital practices encouraged for prevention of falls
  • Reduce falls and fear to improve independence.
  • Regular exercise (increasing balance and leg strengthening)
  • Eye specialist should check their vision regularly (Cuevas-Trisan, 2017)
  • Efforts to make the home environment safe

References

Cuevas-Trisan, R. (2017). . Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics, 28(4), 727-737. Web.

Moncada, L. V. V., & Mire, L. G. (2017). Preventing falls in older persons. American Family Physician, 96(4), 240-247.

Vieira, E. R., Palmer, R. C., & Chaves, P. H. (2016). . Bmj, 353, 1-13. Web.

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