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Year: 2013  Vol. 17   Num. Suppl. 1  - Print:
RISK AND PREVENTION OF FALLS IN INSTITUTIONALIZED ELDERLY INPATIENTS
Author(s):
Isabella Bonamigo da Silva, Ana Cludia Figueiredo Frizzo, Ariane Barros Oliveira, Heraldo Lorena Guida, Moniane Aparecida Sumera, Sueli Mayumi Motonaga Onofre
Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: Incidence of falls among the elderly in Brazil has greatly increased. They can cause serious damage to the quality of life, cause immobility and dependence on third parties, and cause high mortality after surgery. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to estimate the risk of falls in elderly inpatients and to perform preventive measures to reduce the impact of falls from these risks. METHODOLOGY: We evaluated 15 elderly patients in the Institution of St. Vincent de Paul (Marilia-SP, Brazil) through administering the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) (Whitney et al. 2003) and through balance tests (Ganana et al. 1976). We excluded elderly patients who were unable to stand or who used walkers and wheelchairs. RESULTS: The results showed that 11 elderly patients were able to stand securely for 1 min, and 12 patients had good balance while walking. However, they needed supervision for safety to perform actions such as remaining standing with the eyes closed, remaining standing with one foot in front of the other, bending the body forward or sideways, and relying only on one foot. The results of BSE identified 5 elderly patients with a low risk of falls, 9 patients with moderate risk of falls, and only 1 patient at high risk of falls. CONCLUSION: Institutionalized elderly patients have difficulties in performing everyday actions because of the lack of balance and the dependence on supervision when performing most of their actions. It is important to implement preventive measures for this institution.

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