Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Incidents of falls among the elderly increase with age. About $31 million is spent annually in the United States on medical costs related to fall injuries in the elderly. This project evaluated the outcomes of a fall reduction program implemented in an assisted living facility (ALF). The Stop Elderly Accidents, Death & Injury program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was implemented by the ALF for 60 days prior to the outcome evaluation project. The program included a convenience sample of 62 residents and involved medication evaluation, exercises, assistive devices, environmental risk reduction, and evaluation of blood pressure. Bandura's theory on self-efficacy was applied in guiding the implementation process. The practice-focused question compared the fall rate among the ALF's elderly residents during the 30-day period following implementation of the program, and the previous 12months. The fall rates were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Results showed the preintervention fall rate was 6.6 falls per month, while at the end of the 30-day postimplementation period, that rate was reduced by 39.4% to 4 falls per month. The conclusion of this outcome-evaluation project is that falls among the elderly in the ALF can be reduced with evidence-based programs. The recommendation is that ALFs should have fall reduction programs, thereby avoiding unnecessary complications of falls among elderly residents. Implications for nursing practice include improved understanding of falls as a safety issue for ALF residents and the need for nurse practitioners to take a more active role as advocates for fall prevention programs in ALFs. The positive societal change produced is improved safety and reduction in fall injuries among the elderly in assisted living facilities.