Falls Prevention for the Elderly

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The number of health-related injuries resulting from falls among the elderly is a healthcare concern, which requires extensive research. Taking into consideration the complexity of the nature of falls that is a combination of predisposing, economic, social, and health status variables; healthcare professionals should develop solutions that are practical for the particular age group (Aimee Lee, 2013). Falls prevention will only be possible if the population at risk is consulted when developing appropriate solutions that will minimize such cases. Most of the solutions that have been researched on example exercising and safety-related skills can only be implemented if the elderly persons are aware of the health risk resulting from possible falls.

Appropriate interventions that will address this problem should ensure that the input of the medical staff, the susceptible population, the caregivers and the policymakers are integrated to come up with lasting solutions. In this essay, the article that will be critiqued is a qualitative study titled ‘Falls prevention for the elderly.' The article seeks to research and develop appropriate solutions that will help to reduce the cases of injuries associated with falls among the elderly. The essay will critique the methodology, findings of the study and assess whether the proposed solutions are useful in the nursing practice.


In this section of the article, the authors expound on why it is essential to prevent falls among the elderly. The article begins by stating the burden that is associated with health injuries resulting from accidental falls. In addition to that, it goes on to describe that despite the variety of measures that are available for preventing health-related injuries, most of the employed strategies have not been effective (Katrin Balzer, 2012). Lastly, the article states that its main aim is to develop efficient and relevant solutions to the problem. The background information, therefore, provides a systematic and comprehensive report of the health problem at hand. However, the introduction does not provide statistical data based on medical records that indicate reported fall-related injuries and the severity of the cases. Statistics are essential in determining which gender is mostly affected, external factors that contribute to falls, and the identification of other variables that contribute to the falls amongst the elderly.


One of the methodologies that were employed in researching the article was the review of previous publications covering the year between 2003 and 2010. The particular literature materials were electronically sourced from different databases that had relevant information to the subject at hand. The authors also employed the use of prospective accuracy studies and randomized control trials which were conducted by independent assessors. The selected study design that was used in the research was efficient since they helped to eliminate any bias and the problem of confounding variables. On the other hand, the article does not indicate that the authors consulted the relevant specialists who wrote the various publications that were used as literature material. Neglect of such consultations may affect the findings of the paper considering most of the findings have evolved. Meta-analysis of the data was also not performed which may have affected the results of the study.


One of the findings of the study was that the use of specific parameters and tests to determine individuals that are at risk of falling does not provide information that could be used in clinical scenarios. Exercising was also not found to have a positive impact on the frail elderly population; this finding is crucial since it helps the medical practitioners to know that exercising is only suitable for a particular age group. Tailoring the housing condition to suit the population at risk was also one of the findings which help to reduce cases of falls among the elderly. Families that have aged individuals amongst them are therefore able to make the necessary adjustments at home to avoid falls and slippage.

On the other hand, the use of nutritional supplements, training of the nursing personnel, and other interventions that have been suggested by other researchers were found not to be effective in preventing falls among the elderly. The reasons cited for this conclusion in the article are not satisfactory and should not be accepted since they do not provide solutions to the problem at hand. Cost-effectiveness calculations and economic evaluations based on fall prevention were also not found to be comprehensive due to weak data. Such findings indicate some of the techniques employed for data collection and analysis did not yield the expected results that would help to reduce the cases of falls among the aged.


Many ethical aspects were integrated into carrying out the study. The study took into consideration the fact that some of the senior citizens have cognitive impairment due to the age factor and they require a high level of care. The above factors therefore make it very difficult for the healthcare specialists like nurses to advice such persons who are at risk of falling. The study indicates that a good number of the target group know the risk associated with falling and the appropriate prevention measures. However, some of them are not willing to take up the necessary prevention measures. A variety of factors inform such decisions; this, therefore, poses an ethical challenge to the nurses and other caregivers since they cannot force the patient at hand to practice what is safe for them. The aged in most care facilities have cognitive impairment, and therefore the specialists have a moral obligation to make decisions that will prevent the risk of falling which might worsen their health status.


A good number of the findings will help to prevent falls, and in cases where it is inevitable, the nurses will be able to provide better advice and healthcare services. The discovery that carrying out exercises is not suitable for the frail elderly persons will help the nurses to give appropriate information on how to prevent falls depending on the medical records and the particular age group. In addition to that, the finding that heterogeneity of elderly persons according to social and economic status affects the possibility of falls will also be of help to the nurses (Emily Kwan, 2014). The nurses will be including other variables in the health record data of the age to know the target group that is at risk. Knowledge of risk factors associated with falls will also empower the nurses to develop interventions and prevention mechanisms, especially in the elderly homes.


The study has provided relevant solutions on how to prevent falls among the elderly. On the other hand, the article has dismissed a number of prevention techniques on the basis that they are not useful without giving alternative solutions. The methodology of the study was sufficient though in some cases, bias resulted in findings that were not conclusive; therefore a number of prevention practices were not found to be effective with certainty. Research on preventing falls among the senior citizens should, thus, be intensified, and all the stakeholders in the healthcare sectors should be involved to come up with relevant prevention mechanisms.


Aimee Lee, Kuo-Wei Lee, & Peter Khang. (2013). Preventing Falls in the Geriatric Population. The Peremanente, 17(4): 37–39. doi: 10.7812/TPP/12-119

Emily Kwan, & Sharon E. Straus (2014, November 4). Assessment and management of falls in older people. Medical Knowldge That Matters. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.131330

Katrin Balzer, Martina Bremer,Susanne Schramm, Dagmar Lühmann, & Heiner Raspe (2012, April 12). Falls prevention for the elderly. doi: 10.3205/hta000099

October 24, 2023

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