As we age, we inevitably experience physical and mental changes that may contribute to the risk of falls. Other factors such as medical conditions and the medications themselves, muscle weakness, poor balance, vision problems, and more can increase the chances of falling.
According to CDC’s STEADI program, falls are a major threat to older adults. Their studies show that one in four people ages 65 and older fall, and one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a head trauma or fracture. In addition to physical harm, falls can have negative psychological effects—loss of self-confidence and a fear of falling that can reduce the satisfaction of daily living.
Working Together to Promote a Culture of Safety: While not all falls are preventable, research has demonstrated that implementing a systematic fall reduction program can significantly enhance resident safety. MBK Senior Living is rolling out the Fall Reduction Program to promote a culture of safety that helps keep residents mobile and independent. The program is a coordinated effort among residents, MBK Senior Living staff, and healthcare providers, and includes:
- Perform a resident fall risk evaluation using the Morse Fall Scale. This is a rapid, valid, and simple method for assessing a resident’s risk of falling. New residents will receive this assessment, and current residents will be regularly re-assessed and when there has been a significant change in their condition.
- Provide falls training to all staff at orientation when they are first hired and annually.
- Educate current and new residents about the Fall Reduction Program.
Taking Responsibility for Your Own Safety: A key element of the Fall Reduction Program is encouraging residents to be self-responsible for reducing the risk of falls. Some tips include:
- Stay physically active to improve strength, balance, and coordination.
- Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter ones. Some medicines can make you dizzy or sleepy.
- Have your vision checked annually, and use corrective lenses as prescribed.
- Get up slowly after sitting or lying down.
- Wear shoes both inside and outside.
- Keep emergency numbers in large print and near each phone.
The Fall Reduction Program is aimed to decrease the risk and reduce the number of falls in each community. Working together, residents, caregivers, and healthcare providers can become educated, implement better care practices, and improve the overall safety of both personal and community living areas.