A fall can be a life-changing event for an adult at any age, but it can be an even greater concern for older adults and those recovering in a long-term care, or skilled nursing center. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year over 3 million adults over the age of 65 are treated in emergency rooms for a fall injury. If you have experienced a fall, you are also twice as likely to fall again so it is important to consider understanding the steps you can take to prevent another injury.
When you arrive at a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing Center after a hospitalization, our clinical team will conduct an evaluation to determine your individualized rehabilitation program. This evaluation may also include a fall risk assessment to determine if you are at an increased risk for falling. Fall risk assessments can vary depending on a person’s medical situation and can include a Walking/Gait Speed Test, SBBP Score, or 6-Minute Walk Test.
While a fall can lead to a loss of mobility and reduce a person’s independence, there are proven ways to significantly reduce your chances of falling and prevent additional injury. At our long-term care centers, we work with each patient to reduce their risk of falling while they are recovering after a hospitalization.
Open Communication with Healthcare Team
One of the most important things you can do to reduce your fall risk is to speak openly with your healthcare team about your concerns and the steps you can take to prevent a fall. More than one out of four older adults fall each year but less than 50% of those adults do not tell their healthcare team. Even if you are not injured, it is important to let your physicians know so they can develop an exercise or therapy program to increase your strength and mobility.
At Prestige, your care team will also help you understand some common fall risk factors and work with you to take proactive steps to reduce your likelihood of a fall. These fall risk factors, as identified by the CDC, may include lower body weakness, vitamin D deficiency, vision or hearing challenges, certain medications, previous injuries, unproper footwear, and various hazards in your living environment. While these risk factors may vary and can be modified between each individual, it is important to be open about your concerns in order to prevent another serious injury.
Whether you are worried about falling, feeling unsteady, have changes in your vision, or experiencing medication side effects, our expert care teams are dedicated to providing you with the support and care you need to ensure a safe and optimal recovery.
Exercise and Therapy Programs
Studies have shown that exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of a fall by up to 40%. This is especially important if you have been hospitalized for a fall, or other serious injury, and recovering at a long-term care center. If you have been hospitalized, you may be experiencing loss of muscle and increased weakness from lack of exercise which can increase your fall risk.
During your stay at a Prestige long-term care center, our physical and occupational therapists work with each patient to develop an individualized exercise and therapy program intended to help increase strength, improve balance and mobility, and reduce the risk of another fall. Fall prevention exercises can help patients regain their independence and live a stronger, healthier life.
Maintain a Safe Area
A safe and healthy environment is essential to a person’s recovery at a long-term care center. This is especially prominent in ensuring any type of fall risk is reduced. During your stay at a long-term care center, your healthcare team will help keep your room free of tripping hazards, such as removing any articles of clothing from the floor, moving furniture away from the center of the room, adjusting lighting if needed, and assisting with any patient concerns.
You may also require assistance getting in and out of bed, or using your assistive devices, such as a walker or cane. Our highly trained staff at Prestige is dedicated to supporting you and maintaining a safe, comfortable environment during your recovery. Upon discharge, your team will also work with you and your loved one to develop a post-recovery plan, so you are able to maintain a safe atmosphere when you return home. Our goal is to ensure you have the tools and education you need to reduce your fall risk and regain your active and independent lifestyle.