Most falls occur in senior’s homes while they are performing normal daily activities. Too often these falls are caused by such things as medication side effects, environmental hazards, impaired vision and mobility. After experiencing a fall or near miss in the home, many seniors increase their fall risk by developing a “fear of falling.” This fear has lend seniors to restrict their activities both in and outside of their home. Over time this will affect balance and ultimately their overall safety.
We at Mercy, feel that fall prevention and improving home safety is important no matter the age of the patient. Every Mercy Home Health patient at the time of admission will be assessed for fall risk and will travel through our STEADY STEPS program achieving a safe pathway. Our trained clinicians will assess each patient using nationally validated tools that will not only determine the patient’s fall risk in their home but also identify those underlying factors unique to the patient known to cause falls. Patients will be assessed for neurological impairments, including hypo-functioning vestibular system, chronic diseases and other conditions that impact the risk for falls. Patients will be screened for recent vision and hearing loss, and appropriate referrals will be requested when necessary.
Mercy’s Steady Steps program provides a patient focused Safety Prescription addressing specifically those underlying factors, promoting patient awareness and acceptance of their potential fall risk in the home. Nursing will focus on polypharmacy education, assessing knowledge of and compliance to the prescribed medication regimen. Physical and Occupational Therapy treatment will focus on exercise to improve balance, strength, and flexibility, teach postural recovery and compensatory techniques for hypotension, provide recommendations for equipment, ambulatory aids, and removal of obstacles and environmental hazards within the home.
Homebound patients who have experienced: