The Epidemiological process is usually used on infectious diseases. However, its use is not limited to that, by analyzing a specific problem using the host, agent and environment model, we could approach the problem from a different angle and eventually come up with a more concrete explanation thus cropping up a more feasible and practical solution. There is a recent emergence of fall related accidents today especially of the older generation in the United States today.
What was once an area that seemed to be of minimal importance has now become a growing concern for medical researchers and patients alike. Researchers now are focusing on preventing older people from falling or stumbling down after the realization that “one in three people older than 65 falls each year, and in 1998, about 9,600 seniors died from fall-related injuries” (Kalb). Medical researchers are not the only ones who study falls, nor are they the only ones affected. Everyone gets older and no one is exempted, save for those who die early.
The threat of falling down shall be experienced by everyone, thus it is beneficial to have a deeper understanding on the phenomena of falls. By applying the epidemiological process to falls, we will be able to understand it even without knowledge equal to doctors. The host of falls are normally the older generation. The agents the cause falls are include “muscle weakness, poor vision, a skewed sense of balance” (Kalb) There a host of diseases that causes imbalance on older people that also act as agents of falls including “osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and alcoholism.
” (Kalb) There are also various drugs than can cause disorientation on the elderly resulting to stumbles such as “antidepressants, sedatives and blood-pressure drugs, which can cause dizziness, confusion or sedation” (Kalb). The environment also plays a major part in the high incidence of fall related fatalities. Older people are more prone to slip and fall because of the following environmental factors: “combined with poor lighting, loose rugs, slippery tubs and icy sidewalks” (Kalb)
There are several ways to protect people from falling such as engaging in exercises, early treatment of blurred visions, removing rugs, placing of nodes on slippery floors and installation of handrails (Kalb). The most uncommon but sometimes more effective approach to preventing falling is to use some modern day inventions. Inventions to prevent people from falling include hip protectors, pads worn inside the hips and bed security rails. These inventions costs around $100 – $200 (HIProtecotr), a fair price to pay for protecting against fatal falls or dislocated bones.
The problem with these inventions however is that they are not widely known, therefore, in order to introduce these inventions to the populace it is a good idea to setup seminars for doctors on the effects and importance of fall prevention and to introduce these protective devices to the market through specialists.
References HIProtector. Retrieved January 20, 2008, from http://www. hiprotector. com/bysku. html Kalb, Claudine (2000). The Meaning of Falling. Newsweek, 136 Issue 24, p63.