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Fall Prevention Initiatives in Dementia Care -
Rush University

Carefoam chairs were included in a fall prevention study carried out by Rush University clinicians in 2006-2007. The findings of their study were published in an abstract entitled "Fall Prevention Initiatives in Dementia Care"1. A copy of the poster with the results can be viewed by following the link below.

The initiatives included older adults with acute mental illness, in a setting where incidents of patient falls were reaching as high as 18 in a month. The goal was to evaluate their current practices and implement restraint-free fall prevention strategies.

The difficulty with a lack of good verbal communication between care giver staff and dementia patients was a recognized factor. Problematic behaviours, such as agitation, can increase the risk for falls especially when combined with decreased cognitive ability and unsteady gait.

The study team members focused on Person-Centered Care. A number of initiatives were adopted to modify the patients' care environment. This included the use of Carefoam chairs. It was noted that "These chairs (see exhibit 6) provide patients with a sense of security thereby decreasing their restlessness and unwanted attempts to get up without assistance."

The "Results and Recommendations" section included the statement " Not until the introduction of the Carefoam chairs did fall incidents dramatically drop below the average. Interestingly, this decrease can be attributed to the fact that frequent fallers did not sustain any fall incident with the use of the Carefoam chairs during their subsequent hospitalizations. Using these chairs lessened agitation and made it harder for a person to get up without assistance."

1 Inventor B, et al, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago Il, “Fall Prevention Initiatives in Dementia Care” DCC 2008; PS-24

To view the complete Rush University Medical Center poster please click here.


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