Complications Resulting from Long Lie Times After a Fall

Falls in older adults have become an epidemic problem that jeopardizes seniors’ chances to live independently. Every year in the U.S., one out of three people age 65 and over will fall. Close to 50 percent of older adults can’t get up from a fall without help. Lying on the floor for an extended period of time can lead to serious complications including pressure ulcers, rhabdomyolysis, pneumonia, hypothermia, dehydration, and even death. The first line of defense in falls safety is to prevent falls, but the reality is not all falls can be prevented. The second line of defense is to prevent long lie times after the fall which can lead to these serious health complications which negatively impact the quality of life for seniors and are costly to the healthcare system. This presentation describes the complications that can result from long lie times after a fall. A healthcare professional will be able to use the information in their conversation with older adults to help them understand the importance of having a plan to get up safely after a fall and to have a way to call for quick assistance.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this presentation attendees will be able to:

  1. Discuss the statistics on the incidence and prevalence of falls and their impact on seniors.
  2. Review the physiologic changes of aging that predispose an older adult to falls.
  3. Identify screening tools for falls history and risk identification.
  4. Discuss the serious health consequences than can result from long lie times after a fall.
  5. Explain the benefits of preventing long lie times for older adults and their caregivers.
  6. Discuss the role of health care professionals and organizations in falls prevention and preventing long lie times.

This course is accessible on the Philips Lifeline Learning Center website at http://Lifeline.theonlinelearningcenter.com.

This course has also been approved by the Florida Board of Nursing.

Note: Approved provider of continuing education for LCSW licensure requirements in California.

Note: This program is not accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association due to their policies.

Note: As of 7/31/10 nursing CE's will not be available for nurses licensed in DE, RI, and UT.

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