Evaluation of quality of life in the elderly who have fallen
Falling and quality of life in the elderly
Keywords:aged, quality of life, falls, social policy
Background/Aim: Approximately 30% of older adults fall at least once per year; consequently, falls are a significant public health concern in the elderly. The most common outcomes are fractures, immobility, high morbidity, and mortality rates. In recent years, quality of life (QoL) is used as a criterion to guide social policies for the elderly. The high prevalence of falls can have serious consequences on the QoL of older people, resulting in prolonged hospitalization, institutionalization, need for care, social isolation, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, it is essential to understand the effect of falls on QoL and influencing factors. In light of this study’s results, it is intended to provide recommendations for social policy that will protect the elderly from falls and maintain their high QoL. This study aimed to determine the QoL and the factors affecting the elderly who have fallen.
Methods: The research was a cross-sectional study. The study sample consisted of 90 elderly individuals who applied to the hospital due to falls. The inclusion criteria were being 65 years of age or older, applying to the hospital's emergency department, orthopedic or orthopedic surgery clinic due to a fall, not having passed 6 months from the date of discharge, and agreeing to participate in the study voluntarily. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews in January–June 2021 using the purposive sampling method. The Elderly Introduction Form was used to obtain sociodemographic data of the participants, as well as data on falls and their experiences after falls. The Quality of Life Scale for the Elderly was used to determine QoL. The student’s t-test was used to compare two categorical variables. ANOVA was used for more than two variables, and logistic regression analysis was also applied.
Results: QoL levels were classified as poor, fair, and good, and 58.9% of the participants were found to have a fair QoL. In addition, according to the scale’s total score average of 3.17 (0.473), the general quality of life was found to be fair for all participants. According to the t-test and ANOVA results, the QoL was higher for those with higher education levels and those living with their spouses (P˂0.05). The QoL was low in those who had fractures, had surgery, were hospitalized for more than 4 days, and had chronic diseases (P˂0.05). In the regression analysis model, age, economic status, and the number of drugs used were effective on QoL.
Conclusion: The quality of life was poor in the elderly who experienced fractures and were hospitalized. Balance-enhancing exercises in the elderly can prevent falls and associated complications. Low education level, chronic illness, and drug use reduced the quality of life. For education, literacy courses and lifelong learning programs can be applied to the elderly. For diseases, healthy aging policies can be implemented.
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