Nightingale Homecare understands the devastating impact of falls on senior citizens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older will fall. Falls can lead to moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head trauma and can even increase the risk of early death.” The good news is that falls can be prevented!
There are many factors that increase the risk of falling. The more of these risk factors a person has, the higher the chance that he will fall. This is why Nightingale Homecare does a very detailed fall risk evaluation of each client. We want to uncover every risk factor, so that we can discuss the risk with each client and work with him to create the most successful fall prevention plan.
SOME OF THE FACTORS THAT CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF FALLING
- Problems walking or moving around, regardless of the cause
- Balance problems
- Vision problems
- Sensory problems, including lack of sensation in the feet (neuropathy)
- Medications that cause drowsiness, dizziness or low blood pressure
- Urinary urgency or incontinence
- Uncontrolled pain
- Wearing certain types of shoes
- Low blood pressure
- Problems with thinking, problem solving or decision making
- Improper use of walkers, canes or other assistive devices
- Not having the house set up to allow safe activities of daily living, for example have to reach too high or stoop too low for frequently used items
- Having cluttered stairways and walkways, poorly lit rooms, unsecure carpets, damaged floors and other issues within and outside the home
NIGHTINGALE EMPLOYS A TEAM OF EXPERTS THAT ALL PLAY A ROLE IN DEVELOPING A CARE PLAN THAT REALLY WORKS TO PREVENT FALLS
- Our physical therapists evaluate movement, strength and balance and prescribe the exercises that will result in safer movement, greater strength and better balance.
- Our nurses evaluate the impact of medications and work with doctors to make changes that will reduce bad side effects. They also evaluate the impact of medical conditions, such as uncontrolled pain, urinary urgency and low blood pressure and teach regarding how these conditions increase the risk of falling. They work with doctors to do all that is possible to improve these conditions.
- Our occupational therapists evaluate vision, sensation and decision making. They also observe how activities of daily living, such as bathing and meal preparation are performed. Then they recommend changes that make up for any deficits and make activities of daily living simpler, less taxing and safer. They also recommend helpful devices and home modifications.
- Our dieticians evaluate how weight, diet and nutritional status might be contributing to fall risk. They make recommendations to improve overall nutritional health.
- Our medical social workers evaluate whether there is a need to access community resources to make needed changes. They assist with applying for those resources.
- Our home health aides and caregivers assist with and observe how things are going with day to day activities. They help with exercises and other recommendations made by nurses, therapists, dieticians and social workers and report when there are problems, so that they can be addressed quickly.