September 20-24th is Falls Prevention Awareness Week! It’s no secret that falls are serious, even life threatening, especially to adults over the age of 65
According to the CDC:
- 3 million people age 65+ are treated in the ER for fall injuries
- 1/5 falls cause serious injury such as broken bones or head injury
- Two-thirds of those who fall, will fall again within 6 months
- An older adult dies from a fall every 20 minutes
- 1 in 4 people age 65+ fall each year, and less than half tell their doctor
Although falls are common, they are not a normal part of aging. Many risk factors can lead to falls, but these can be changed and prevent falls from occurring.
How can healthcare professionals help prevent patient falls?
Here are some ways that nurses can help:
- Provide personal care help in the bathroom and with dressing
- Be on the lookout for items that are risks, including chords or rugs in nursing homes
- Assist with standing up and walking
- Provide medication reminders
- Make sure residents have proper non-slips socks/shoes
- Take free educational training through the CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative
To learn more about fall prevention, visit the CDC’s website.