Fall prevention is very important at MedStar Visiting Nurse Association. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injury. They are also the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. During the first visit to a patient's home, a homecare team member will conduct a home safety assessment. This assessment includes an evaluation of safety hazards and the patient's risk of falling.
Fall prevention recommendations:
The homecare team member will make recommendations to patients and caregivers about changes that should be made in the home to prevent falls and enhance safety.
Fall prevention safety tips:
Keep stairs and walkways free of things that are easy to trip over like papers, books, clothes and shoes
Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs from slipping
Keep items you use often in cabinets that you can reach easily without using a step stool
Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower
Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors
Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well
Hang light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glare
Make sure there are sturdy handrails and working lights in all staircases
Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers
Reduce the Risk of Falls at Home
The homecare team will also include fall prevention practices in each patient's plan of care. These measures may include:
Starting a regular exercise program with the physical therapist. Exercise is one of the most important ways to lower your chances of falling. It makes individuals stronger and helps to improve balance and coordination.
Keeping a close eye on the patient's ability to follow the medication regiment and their individual reaction to medications. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall.
Observing whether or not the patient is able to see. Patients may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits vision. Poor vision can increase the risk of falling Vision should be reevaluated annually by a doctor.
For more information or to refer a patient to MedStar VNA, call 800-862-2166.