A protocol for an individualised, facilitated and sustainable approach to implementing current evidence in preventing falls in residential aged care facilities

  • Betty Haralambous, Terry P Haines, Keith Hill, Kirsten Moore, Jennifer Nitz and Andrew Robinson.
  • February 2010

    Abstract

    Background
     
               

    Falls are common adverse events in
    residential care facilities. Commonly reported figures indicate that at
    least 50% of residents fall in a 12 month period, and that this figure
    is substantially higher for residents with dementia. This paper reports
    the protocol of a project which aims to implement evidence based falls
    prevention strategies in nine residential aged care facilities (RACFs)
    in Australia. The facilities in the study include high and low care,
    small and large facilities, metropolitan and regional, facilities with a
    specific cultural focus, and target groups recognised as being more
    challenging to successful implementation of falls prevention practice
    (e.g. residents with dementia).

    Methods
                 

    The project will be conducted from
    November 2007-November 2009. The project will involve baseline scoping
    of existing falls rates and falls prevention activities in each
    facility, an action research process, interactive falls prevention
    training, individual falls risk assessments, provision of equipment and
    modifications, organisation based steering committees, and an economic
    evaluation. In each RACF, staff will be invited to join an action
    research group that will lead the process of developing and implementing
    interventions designed to facilitate an evidence based approach to
    falls management in their facility. In all RACFs a pre/post design will
    be adopted with a range of standardised measures utilised to determine
    the impact of the interventions.

    Discussion
     
                 

    The care gap in residential aged care
    that will be addressed through this project relates to the challenges in
    implementing best practice falls prevention actions despite the
    availability of best practice guidelines. There are numerous factors
    that may limit the uptake of best practice falls prevention guidelines
    in residential aged care facilities. A multi-factorial individualised
    (to the specific requirements of each facility) approach will be used to
    develop and implement an action plan in each participating facility
    based on the best available evidence.

    Published by Residential Forum

    The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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