Falls Prevention: Important Tips for Reducing Risk

Did you know that every 11 seconds, an elderly person is treated in an emergency room for a fall? And, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in seniors. From broken bones to traumatic brain injury, falls can have long lasting health implications, so prevention is of utmost importance.

Taking steps to reduce fall risk, whether a senior lives at home or in a skilled nursing facility, is critical. A fall can lead to a decline in mobility and independence, and can dramatically impact quality of life for seniors. The good news is, through practical lifestyle adjustments and physical exercise, a seniors’ risk for falling can be greatly reduced.

Here at the Nathaniel Witherell, we’ve created a Falls Reduction Program specifically designed to keep our elderly residents healthy and out of the hospital. First, we identified peak times—late afternoon and early evening—when our residents are most susceptible to falls or injury, largely due to fatigue or confusion. Then, our nursing staff and recreation team worked together to create joint activities tailored specifically to residents who required the most supervision, so that they could be engaged, supervised, and supported whenever needed. Our recreation department, RN’s, LPN’s, and CNA’s have all contributed to making this a highly enjoyable and effective program.

Other ways to help prevent falls among the elderly, whether they live at home or at a skilled nursing facility, include:

  • Do a home/room assessment and remove any fall hazards such as electrical cords or area rugs. Make sure furniture is arranged in a way to create clear pathways.
  • Keep walking aids nearby. Canes and walkers should always be in easy reach so that the elderly have support when rising or transitioning from a chair to a bed.
  • For elderly who are recovering from surgery, be sure they work with a physical therapist to strengthen legs and core muscles to lower the chance of falling. In the Witherell’s short-term rehab facility, our physical therapists develop muscle-strengthening programs tailored to individual needs. For more information, call: (203) 618-4200 or visit: https://bit.ly/35YWsUL.

 

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