Falls are a significant cause of harm to older people. Statistics show that 1 in 3 older people of 65+ years of age fall once or more in any given year. This rate of falling is higher in those with Parkinson’s Disease (60-80% risk) and those aged 85+ (close to 50% risk). The good news! Many falls can be prevented through education, increased awareness and preventative strategies.
You can contribute to the multifactorial approach by:
- Ensuring that residents’ are utilising their prescribed gait aid at all times.
- Monitoring those residents with cognitive impairments more regularly.
- Following a regular, individualised toileting schedule.
- Making sure that residents are wearing well fitted footwear.
- Organising a medication review at least yearly by a pharmacist after a fall, or after initiation or escalation in dosage of medication, or if there is multiple drug use.
- Arranging regular eye examinations (every two years) to reduce the incidence of visual impairment.
- Making sure that residents’ personal belongings and equipment are easy and safe for them to access, and that clutter is minimised.
- Utilising alert devices such as sensors and other relevant equipment in liaison with the physiotherapist.
- Checking regularly that the resident is wearing their hip protectors, that the hip protectors are in the correct position, and are a comfortable fit.
- Recommending vitamin D and calcium supplementation for applicable residents.
- Encouraging and assisting with regular walking, strengthening and exercises that will protect resident bone health, maintain mobility and balance, and reduce the risk of injurious falls.
A Healthcare 2 You professional will be able to assist and educate residents and facility staff in order to minimise falls which may progress into long lasting injuries.