Effects of a fall on the quality of life of someone over the age of 65
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Background: Care of the older person will become more important in the future due to the expected increase in this area of the population. Falls and fall related injuries are the most comm on cause of admission to the comm unity hospital. Finding out how a fall affects the quality of life of an older person can provide the multidisciplinary team with the information needed to assist the older person in improving that quality of life. Aims/Objectives: This study will be carried out in a rural Irish setting, with the aim to find out the effects of a fall on the quality of life of someone over the age of 65. Materials/Methods: A total of 7 participants were recruited for the study. All of these participants have had a recent stay in a comm unity hospital and have been discharged home. The methodology used was that of semi-structured telephone interviews, with each participant receiving the same set of questions. Results: The main themes identified were that of fear of falling with over half of participants mentioning developing a fear of falling. The other prominent theme was that of social isolation. The majority of participants had lived in the town, however they still felt socially isolated and this may have been due to the research taking place during the coronavirus pandemic. Conclusion: For those who have fallen, there has been a reduced quality of life, however the participants recognised the importance of family support in assisting them to stay in their own environment which was important to them. In the current pandemic, social isolation was very prominent, regardless of fall status and this must be addressed. There are a variety of different services available to older people, however some are only in certain areas of Ireland. Developing a process to ensure these facilities are rolled out to all areas can only help to improve social isolation and in tum the quality of life of those over 65. Providing care within the home environment albeit virtually should reduce isolation, and improve fear of falling which were the comm on themes identified.
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