Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury for older adults, with more than 25% falling each year. From 2007 to 2016, falls increased over 30%, reaching approximately 60 deaths per 100,000 people each year. Falls are generally caused by a combination of risk factors and most are preventable. But how do you identify those who are at risk for falling? Better yet, with a facility full of residents with individual needs, how do you take a proactive approach to fall prevention?
- Know who’s at risk for falling. Those who have fallen before are more likely to fall again. Additionally, residents who are on medications that cause dizziness or have impaired vision are more likely to fall.
- Monitor those who are at risk closely and enlist their support in their care. Keeping a closer watch on residents who have a history of falls or who may be at-risk. Moreover, getting the resident on-board with their own fall protection is a great step in preventing falls. If a resident hasn’t fallen before, they may not understand the full dangers of fall prevention. Asking them if they’re concerned about falling can help residents serve as a team member in their own safety.
- Implement a fall protection system. Fall protection systems can help prevent falls up to a week in advance by learning resident patterns and behaviors, as well as gathering biometric data on each resident. This kind of data can help care staff take additional measures with specific residents to prevent falls entirely.
- Start a community workout plan. Regular exercise not only helps prevent chronic disease, it can also help with fall prevention. As we age, brain and central nervous system function decreases. This makes brain information processing take slightly longer, which impedes balance. Exercise helps increase muscle and bone strength, as well as improving balance. Additionally, group exercise can help improve social environments.
- Help residents understand it’s okay to ask for help. Creating a culture where residents feel comfortable asking community staff for help when they need it is a great first step in fall prevention. Additionally, having a reliable nurse call system that allows care staff to reach residents more efficiently can decrease waiting times, and the possibility of a resident potentially overextending their abilities.
Taking proactive steps to preventing falls is essential to helping older adults stay healthy and mobile as long as possible. To assess if your community is set up in the best position possible to prevent falls, contact Senior Safety Technologies. We’ll set up a free assessment to take a look at your community and make sure you’re set up for life safety and success.