Falls Prevention Efforts in the Florida Elderly


This paper will describe and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the aggregate and the community where the aggregate resides, and determine what facilities are already in place to mitigate, deter, and manage the health issue of damage from falls among the elderly. These goals will be achieved with the application of the Map-It Framework (MAP-IT: A Guide to Using Healthy People 2020 in Your Community, n.d.).

Mobilize

There are many community partners in Miami that can be involved to fix the lack of amenities for the high health needs of the elderly. These include such companies as the Health Foundation of South Florida, Urban Health Partnerships, and the Alliance for Aging (Rothman, 2015).

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Assess

Falls remain the leading cause of both death and injury-related hospital admissions in Florida.

Most Miami slip and falls occur in public places, like shopping centers and stores of various kinds. With elderly people, the numbers are also high in their houses, in bathrooms and on staircases. The principle causes of falls are slips and trips (What You Should Know About Slip and Fall Accidents, n.d.). Other causes include leg weakness, use of balance-affecting medicine, eyesight issues, and lack of essential vitamins in the body (like vitamin D) (Important Facts about Falls, 2016).

Plan

The stakeholders need to improve their ability to find and eliminate the risk factors among the elderly, by regular monitoring of the patients, assessment of their community for risks, and development of individual and community-based intervention programs (Frieden, Houry, Baldwin, Dellinger, & Lee, 2015)

Implement

The methods would include adding elderly facilities to public places, like ramps, and public policies for transportation, development and zoning. The houses of the elderly need to be checked for fall hazards and the patients themselves need to be monitored, including physical examinations and therapy (Rothman, 2015).

Track

Naturally, it is vital that all the results are consistently recorded and evaluated, for better understanding of the problem and the effectiveness of the methods.

The assessed family consists of an elderly couple, husband John, aged 72, and wife Vivien, aged 68, their son and his wife, Michael and Susan, as well as their preschool son, David.

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The data was collected from them in a semi-rigid interview, following Friedman Family Assessment model (Friedman, Bowden & Jones, 2003).

The family is Caucasian. They have lived in Miami Beach their whole life, and own a two-storey house. The seniors do not work; the son and his wife are both lawyers, and leave their son in the care of his grandparents when he is not at school. They are a middle-class Protestant family.

Both grandparents were born in Florida. The son’s wife moved into Miami from Georgia ten years ago.

The house was purchased 31-year ago, when Vivien was pregnant with Michael and they needed a bigger house. Currently, the house does not have accommodations for people of their age group. They regularly have to climb steep stairs to the second floor, and there are toys lying around the house. The community is located in a quiet neighborhood with a significant percentage of elderly population.

The community center is equipped with facilities for the elderly, and conducts social activities aimed at the elderly. There is a community center nearby, as well as a church. The local clinic is with ten minutes drive. In the last two years, the local shops have started to integrate facilities, like ramps, to better suit the senior part of their clientele. Despite this, the citizen participation is low, and there are few benches or transportation services for elderly in the area.

Currently, the seniors are both taking medicine for low blood pressure, but now calcium supplements or Vitamin D.

The assessment showed that while the local facilities are making steps towards accommodating the elderly, additional inclusions will be needed to make the community as safe as possible for the target audience. The family’s own home is very hazardous for John and Vivien, and creates numerous opportunities for slips and trips, resulting in injuries or even death. The most dangerous areas are the stairs and the bathroom, which lacks any non-slippery cover on the floor. Finally, both of them need to undergo regular check-ups by their local doctor.

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References

Frieden, T. R., Houry, D., Baldwin, G., Dellinger, A., & Lee, R. (2015). Preventing Falls: A Guide to Implementing Effective Community-Based Fall Prevention Programs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Iv-56. Web.

Friedman, M. M., Bowden, V. R., & Jones, E. (2003). Family nursing: Research, theory & practice (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Important Facts about Falls. (2016). Web.

MAP-IT: A Guide to Using Healthy People 2020 in Your Community. (n.d.). Web.

Rothman, M. B. (2015). Let’s focus on our aging population. Web.

What You Should Know About Slip and Fall Accidents. (n.d.). Web.

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