Managing Falls in Memory-Impaired Residents

June 2, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Residents with memory impairment have many risk factors for falling, noted Jean Harpel, MSN, RN, GCNS, CPASRM, Senior Risk Management Analyst and Consultant, ECRI Institute, during her presentation, "Falls Management with Memory-Impaired Residents," at the 2017 Spring Education Series: Dementia Care Workshop, proudly sponsored by Caring Communities and Peace Church Risk Retention Group (PCRRG) and in collaboration with ECRI Institute. These risk factors include uneven gait, footwear selection, medication regimen, infection, pain, vertigo, weakness, and environmental factors. The key is to use assessment tools that work best for your resident, said Harpel. What scales allow you to regularly monitor changes in the person's balance, gait, pain, mobility, or fall risk? "A change in gait may be an early indicator of cognitive impairment," she noted, as reported in the literature. Where does the resident get his or her footwear? Are organization representatives taking the opportunity to recommend safe footwear features, such as nonslip soles or low heels?

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