Fall Prevention: How to Stay Safe

Fall prevention can be as simple as creating a safe living environment. Here at Spring Hills our caregivers and staff work to ensure that all preventative measures are taken so falls are less likely to occur.

Fall prevention can be as simple as creating a safe living environment. According to EverydayHealth, 30% – 40% of older adults fall at least once a year. Research shows that achieving a minimum of 50 hours of exercise over a six-month period can effectively reduce the risk of falls for seniors. Although falls can occur anywhere, most recorded falls take place in the home. Here are a few tips on how to make you or your loved one’s home safer.

Fall Prevention at Home: Questions to Ask

Exterior of Home:

  • Are surfaces non-slip?
  • Are step edges visually marked to avoid tripping?
  • Are Stairway handrails present?
  • Are handrails securely fastened to fitting?
  • Are walking paths free from objects that might be tripped over?
  • Is sufficient lighting available to provide safe ambulation at night?
  • Are leaves and snow cleared away before Residents go outside?
  • Are tools and other equipment safely and securely stored?

Interior of Home:

  • Are the lights bright enough to compensate for limited vision?
  • Are the lights glare free?
  • Are handrails securely fastened?
  • Are the smoke detectors present with fresh batteries?
  • Are electrical cords properly plugged in and safety tucked away?
  • Are there nightlights in the halls and bathrooms?
  • Are carpets in good repair?
  • If present are through rugs secured with non-slip backing and taped down?
  • Are floors finished in a non-slip way?
  • Are rooms uncluttered to permit unobstructed mobility?
  • Is water temperature at the proper settings to avoid scalding?
  • Are flashlights available for use when needed in an emergency?
  • Are cleaners and poisons secured and clearly marked?
  • Is a first aid kit available with up-to-date supplies?

Bathroom:

  • Is the door wide enough for un-obstructive access with an assistive device like a wheelchair or walker?
  • Does the floor have a nonslip surface?
  • Are floor rugs secured if used (should avoid throw rugs)?
  • Are grab bars securely fastened next to the toilet and shower areas?
  • Is there a shower seat available?
  • Is there a toilet seat elevated for easy transfer?
  • Is the pull cord within easy reach and functional? Do not wrap cord around grab bar!
  • Remove water from the floor during & after showers.
  • Place needed items within reach.

Home Safety Recommendations

If after reading through these questions, you found yourself answering “No, we haven’t done that yet,” don’t have a breakdown. Making an honest assessment of your own; or your loved one’s home can feel overwhelming, but it is an important step in preventing falls. We recommend the following as good places to start:

  • Use/install a bath chair; grab bars and handheld shower to assist with stability when bathing.
  • Install night lights in the bathroom and along walking path to the bathroom. Poor lighting may contribute to falls at night. We recommend using brighter bulbs, at least 60 – 75 watts.
  • Check flooring in and around the home. Ensure rugs are taped down to prevent trips and ensure slippery floor areas are looked at.
  • Remove clutter. If you or a loved one have many objects lying around, make sure they are removed from walking paths and high traffic areas.

Fall Prevention at Spring Hills             

Our goal is to always promote optimal resident safety and decrease the possibility of falls and injuries from falls. We make every effort to maintain an environment that is as safe as possible to reduce the incidence of falls. The staff at each community is fundamental to fall prevention and is trained to recognize and address safety hazards for the protection of residents and others and is responsible for being alert for and taking action to correct hazardous situations. Additionally, upon resident admission, an evaluation for fall risk is performed and every 120 days following or after a change in condition; if deemed necessary a fall plan may be implemented to minimize risk of falls.

Fall Prevention General Practices

All of our residents are matched with qualified caregivers, who are able to assist with their everyday needs. Our caregivers and nursing staff are trained and educated to optimize function within all of our communities and centers and provide personal care to decrease the risk of falls for our residents. All staff is observant for spills and other wet surfaces and provide clean up immediately. “Wet Floor” signs are posted when appropriate and removed when area is again safe for walking and all indoor and outdoor walking areas are kept free of clutter. Resident rooms are assessed for potential fall hazards and issue addressed with the residents, for example:

  • Furniture is repaired and replaced as needed to maintain safety during usage.
  • Furniture provided is of proper height for residents.
  • Lighting is adequate and is kept properly functioning.
  • Call bells are operative at all times and placed within reach of resident.
  • Handrails are securely attached to wall surfaces.
  • Toilet seats are assessed for appropriate height and adjustment made as necessary.
  • Proper footwear is worn to facilitate smooth safe walking.

Things To Consider

Older adults living alone, compared to those who live with others, have an increased chance of re-hospitalization due to falls, among other causes. At Spring Hills, our Signature Touches program is designed to adhere to the unique needs of each and every individual. By providing fall management seminars that are focused on educating our clients and staff on various safety procedures and precautions, we are able to help minimize the risk of falls.

Preventing falls is no small task but having a support system and knowledgeable staff behind you will maximize safety and reduce fall risk. Whether you or a loved one are in need of home care, memory care, post-acute care or general assisted living, Spring Hills is here to ensure that the best; quality care is received.

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