SAGE Journal Articles
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O’Hanlon, S., & Twomey, C. (2009). Mobility impairment in older adults. InnovAiT, 2(9), 546-550.
Older adults often present to their general practitioner with mobility impairment. Finding the cause can be a challenging process. This article discusses the assessment and investigation of deterioration in mobility in older adults.
Questions to Consider:
- Discuss the processes of treatment and rehabilitation in older adults with mobility impairments.
- Explore the implications of mobility impairments on mental health and emotional well-being.
- Describe the relevance of this article for counselors of individuals aged 75 or older.
Detweiler, M.B., Kim, K.Y., & Taylor, B.Y. (2005). Focused supervision of high-risk fall dementia patients: A simple method to reduce fall incidence and severity. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 20(2), 97-104.
Dementia units in nursing homes have a disproportionately high number of demographic risk factors for falls. Many residents have a previous history of falls, the inability to call for assistance, and the inability to remember safety instructions. For interdisciplinary falls review committees, this population may be the most difficult to manage. The Virginia Veterans Care Center (VVCC) Dementia Unit Interdisciplinary Fall Team instituted a novel practice for reducing the number and severity of falls among the highest risk group of dementia patients. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) were assigned to high-risk residents for focused supervision. The patients received consistent supervision by selected CNAs during the day and evening shifts. Eight residents identified as high risk who continued to have falls despite multiple interventions were selected for the study. A comparison of four months of intervention with the four months prior to the intervention revealed a significant (p = 0.024) fall reduction during the intervention months. Individually, seven of the eight participants had reduced falls during the intervention period. A 5-point scale for fall severity demonstrated an overall reduction in fall severity during that period. Individually, five of the eight patients had a decreased fall severity, and one had no change. Two patients experienced an increase in fall severity due to ongoing medical problems. While the small number of patients in the study limits the power of the results, this novel intervention of using designated CNAs to supervise high-risk fall residents with dementia may prove helpful for staff in other nursing facilities.
Questions to Consider:
- Examine the specific risk factors for falls in long-term care units of nursing homes.
- Discuss the study’s results and the implications for nursing home care providers and counselors.
- Describe the challenges associated with caring for individuals with severe dementia requiring long-term care.