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Home > CME > Courses
The Evaluation and Treatment of Falls in Elderly Patients: A Case Study

Presented by the University of Alabama School of Medicine
Division of Continuing Medical Education

Release Date: August 30, 2012
Expiration Date: August 30, 2015

Target Audience
Objectives
Source
CME Participation
Accreditation & Credit

Introduction
Case
Case Question #1
References

TARGET AUDIENCE:
Primary care physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dentists, and dieticians.

OBJECTIVES:
Upon completion of this CME activity, participants should be able to understand:
  • Identify risk factors for falls in elderly patients in the community and in the hospital setting.
  • Discuss the post fall assessment of an elderly patient who falls in the hospital
  • Discuss the importance of maintaining mobility among hospitalized elders.
  • Discuss important aspects of discharge planning for Medicare beneficiaries.
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SOURCE:
FACULTY:

AUTHOR:

Donna M. Bearden, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor

EDITORS:

Patricia Sawyer, PhD
Associate Professor

Robert Kynerd, MD
Associate Professor

Charnetta Gadling-Cole, MSW, PhD
Assistant Professor

Lillian Mitchell, DDS
Assistant Professor

Angela Rothrock, PhD
Assistant Professor

MANAGING EDITOR:

Channing R. Ford, MPA, MA

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL

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DISCLOSURE:

The authors and editors have no relevant financial relationships related to the content of this activity to disclose.

There is no commercial support for this activity.

Because of the nature of preliminary studies, some products mentioned are unlabeled and investigational. Dosages, indications, and methods of use of drugs mentioned in this publication may reflect the experience of the authors, clinical literature, or other resources. Therefore, please see the full prescribing information before using any licensed product mentioned.


CME PARTICIPATION:

Effective July 1, 2011, enduring materials are required to provide an assessment of the learner that measures achievement of the educational purpose and/or objectives of the activity. For our online enduring materials, the UAB Division of CME has begun implementing a post-test questionnaire (5 content-related questions). Upon completion of the course, you will be directed to the post-test questionnaire. To receive your CME certificate, you must score a minimum of 80% on the post-test.

Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Occupational Therapy:
To participate in this online course for CME and CEU credit, please review the objectives before beginning the program. Complete the course and the self-assessment test before August 30, 2015 to receive CME credit. Your certificate will then be available online. This process should take approximately 1 hour.

Social Work and Dietetics:
To receive credit for continuing education for this module, please review the objectives before beginning the program. Complete the course and the self-assessment module before August 30, 2015 to receive credit. Your certificate will be emailed to you within one month of completion. This process should take approximately 1 hour.

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ACCREDITATION:

The University of Alabama School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Alabama School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The boards of nursing in many states, including Alabama, recognize Category 1 continuing medical education courses as acceptable activities for the renewal of license to practice nursing.

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DISCLAIMER:
Dosages, indications, and methods of use of any drug referred to in this publication may reflect the clinical experience of the authors, clinical literature, or other clinical resources. Therefore, please see the full prescribing information before using any product mentioned. UAB is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
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INTRODUCTION:
Among US adults 65 and older, 33% report that they experienced a fall in the prior year[1]. Falls often result in functional declines in this population and in 10-15% of these falls, an injury results that requires medical attention. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to emergency departments in the US and by 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $43.8 billion[1]. As the population ages, falls will become an even greater public health concern. Therefore, health care providers need to be aware of risk factors for falls, interventions to prevent falls and how to assess and treat a patient who has fallen. A hypothetical scenario that reviews these topics is presented in this module.
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CASE:

Mr. M is an 89-year-old African American male living alone in an apartment. He has documented cognitive impairment, but does have severe osteoarthritis of his knees and a peripheral neuropathy which impairs his ability to ambulate. He has had several falls in the past year, but has not sustained any severe injuries as a result of the falls. He refuses to consider moving to a senior living apartment or an assisted living facility, but his children have arranged for him to have custodial help. His caregivers come to his apartment five days a week for four hours and do the patient's shopping, cooking and housekeeping. They also take him on errands and to his doctor appointments.

One week prior to his current admission, he tripped on a rug in his apartment on the way to the bathroom and fell. He was taken to the emergency department for evaluation.

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Question 1 of 6

1. Community risk factors for falls among the elderly include all of the following except:

A. A history of falling
B. An elevated Vitamin D level

C. Use of benzodiazepines
D. Cognitive impairment
E. Arthritis


 

 
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