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Fall Prevention & Safety

Fall and injury prevention are considerable health care challenges for elderly persons: one out of three people 65 or older suffers at least one fall every year. The likelihood of serious physical harm due to falling only increases as they get older. Patients who suffer from a fall stay at hospitals for an average of 12.3 days more than other patients. Injuries from falls can increase patient care costs as much as 61%.

At HealthFlex, our goal is to ensure our patients are able to maintain their independence, safety and quality of life by preventing falls. We have a multidisciplinary staff that uses all modalities of care, from skilled nursing to occupational therapy, in order to improve our patients’ strength and balance so they can perform everyday activities without the risk of falling. With our program, patients learn the skills they need to prevent falls.

It’s important to understand what risk factors contribute to falls among older adults. Risk factors may be biological (part of the patient’s health) or environmental (part of the patient’s surroundings).

Biological risk factors:
  • Mobility problems due to muscle weakness
  • Balance problems and changes in walking patterns
  • Chronic health conditions such as arthritis/stroke
  • Vision changes or loss
  • Loss of sensation in feet
  • Osteoporosis
  • Being over age 65
  • Taking multiple medications simultaneously
  • Taking medications that can cause dizziness
Environmental risk factors:
  • Home and environmental hazards such as clutter or poor lighting
  • Incorrect size, type, or use of assistive devices like walkers, canes, or crutches
  • Changes or disturbances in daily activities and routine
senior man doctor walker

Common Conditions or Diagnosis to Qualify for the Fall Program:

  • Knee or Hip Pain
  • Vestibular Disease
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Stroke
  • Gait Abnormality
  • Parkinson’s, MS, SLE or other similar illness
  • Recent Total Joint Replacement
  • History of Falls
  • Difficulty or slow when walking
  • Apparent Leg Weakness
  • Fear of walking alone
  • Loss of standing balance
  • UTI

How Can We Help Prevent Falls?

At HealthFlex, we have identified the most effective method for preventing falls. We start with an evaluation by a registered nurse to identify risk factors. Understanding the risks allows us to help reduce them. Then, our multidisciplinary team of specialists develops an individualized plan for preventing falls. We can help target physical activities to improve balance and mobility and reduce fall risk. Also, we can identify necessary changes to the home environment to remove hazards with a home safety assessment.

Balance & Mobility (Physical Activity)

Physical therapy and strength training not only improve mobility, but also reduce the risk of falling. One of the main reasons older people suffer from regular falls is because of a lack of exercise. Our low-impact exercise programs and passive physical therapy helps our patients build and maintain their physical strength and balance to reduce fall risks.

Environmental Modification

Many falls are the direct result of hazards in the environment. Things one once took for granted, such as the bathtub or stairs, can suddenly become scary and dangerous. Our occupational therapists and home safety coordinator will inspect the home and make changes to help reduce the risk of falling. Modifications can include installing grab bars in the bathroom, improving lighting, and removing throw rugs or other hazards.

bath senior woman

Our interdisciplinary approach includes:

Skilled Nursing

  • Complete History and Physical Assessment
  • Medication Review and Teaching
  • Interventions based on screening
  • Home Safety Instruction
  • Patient/Caregiver Educational Materials for Continual Reinforcement

Occupational Therapy

  • Complete OT Assessment
  • ADL’s Retraining
  • Environment Modification
  • Visual Acuity Training

Home Health Aide

  • Grooming and Bathing Assistance
  • Light Housekeeping Pertaining to Patient Care Area

Physical Therapy

  • Brief Review of History of Present Illness
  • Strength and ROM Assessment
  • Gait and Balance Assessment
  • Sensory & Proprioception Assessment
  • Visual Acuity Training
  • VestibularTherapy
  • NeurologicalTesting
  • Strengthening and Conditioning
  • HomeSafetyEvaluation
  • Patient/Caregiver Education
  • Equipment Evaluation and Proper Use
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