Research at the doctor's office, in the home and around town...
The research mission of the Carolina Geriatric Center's is to implement and assess evidenced based falls prevention strategies among the elderly. In the pilot phase the CGEC partnered with the Mountain AHEC and faculty from Western Carolina University to implement standardized falls risk screening for all patients over the age of 65 in 3 physician practices in the western part of North Carolina.
With the goal of implementing evidence-based falls prevention strategies across the continuum of care, the CGEC has developed and presented content to train nurses and front line in continuing care retirement communities. Teaching standardized evidenced-based falls prevention techniques to multi-disciplinary teams significantly improved the quality of life for residents and increased the likelihood that these seniors would be able to remain living independently.
Finally the CGEC has supported pilot research conducted by Western Carolina, UNC Asheville, Mountain AHEC and the Western Carolina Falls Prevention Coalition to teach community members standardized falls prevention techniques. Researchers are determining if lay people can make a difference in helping prevent falls among the elderly. During Falls Prevention Awareness Week community volunteers are trained to conduct falls screenings making safety and preventing accidents even more widely available.
In the next phase of the research the CGEC will be taking what works at doctor's offices, in people's homes and in the community and replicating it across the state. We will be reporting on our outcomes through the grant to the Health Services and Resources Administration in the summer of 2012.
For more information on our research projects or to involve your doctor's office, retirement home or community group email Cristine Clarke, Ed. D.