Research has shown that approximately 1/3 of all people over age 65 experience at least one fall per year. Impaired vision, impaired balance, muscle weakness and medication side effects can all contribute to falls. Our facility has developed a fall prevention program which includes special training for all staff to reduce the number of falls in the facility. Each time a resident falls, nursing staff implement interventions aimed at preventing future falls.
One intervention you may see used in other facilities is alarms. Research has shown that the use of alarms does not actually prevent people from falling and can be considered a restraint. Examples of appropriate fall interventions are physical and occupational therapy to work on balance and improve mobility and safety, speech therapy to improve cognition and decision making, encouraging residents to spend time in more frequently monitored area such as the lobby, nightlights, proper footwear including gripper socks, and activities to keep residents occupied. Our restorative nursing department also works with residents to maintain muscle function through exercise. This exercise can include walking to meals, riding the exercise bike, range of motion exercises and a weekly group exercise activity. Although it is our goal to prevent all falls, we understand that falls will happen due to multiple risk factors in this population. As a team, we will address each fall to meet the individualized needs of our residents.