University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) Reynolds Interprofessional Geriatric Education and Training in Texas (IGET-IT)
Each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older falls and 2 million are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. The risk of falling increases with each decade of life. The long-term consequences of fall injuries, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can impact the health and independence of older adults. However, falls are not necessarily an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented. All healthcare professionals can take actions to protect older adults.
The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTSHC) Reynolds Interprofessional Geriatric Education and Training in Texas (IGET-IT) Program has developed a Fall Risk Assessment and Education module as part of the Interprofessional Communication Improvement Modules (ICIM) Elder Safety series. The ICIM Elder Safety modules were created in collaboration with the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) and are supported, in part, by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The goal of the Elder Safety ICIMs is to provide innovative and sustainable programs to improve the ability of physicians to work with other health disciplines in teams to provide better care for geriatric patients. The care of older adults can be very complex and studies have shown that a team approach can be most effective in leading to quality outcomes.
Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:
- Describe risk factors associated with falls in older adults using a comprehensive fall risk assessment.
- Identify examination components to assess for fall risk.
- Describe how neurocognitive features can contribute to the risk of falls.
- Identify four essential tests to assess neurocognitive features.
- Describe how sensory factors impact the risk of falls.
- Identify exams to assess sensory factors.
- Identify the prescription, nonprescription, nutritional supplements, and food/drug interactions that are most frequently associated with an increased fall risk.
- Discuss polypharmacy and its impact on fall risk.
- Examine the evidence behind nutritional supplements that may help reduce fractures from falls.