According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury for adults over 65-years-old. “These injuries are treated in an emergency department every 13 seconds and claim a life every 20 minutes.” Alarmingly, less than half of older adults injured in falls inform their doctors. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a fall prevention campaign, called STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents Deaths & Injuries), to teach elderly care providers how to identify and address fall risk factors.
STEADI: CDC Fall Prevention Initiative
“STEADI uses established clinical guidelines and effective strategies to help primary care providers address their older patients’ fall risk and identify modifiable risk factors, offering patients solutions that work.”
The CDC offers online training to teach healthcare professionals how to implement fall prevention techniques and training into their daily routine.
Implementing STEADI in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
The CDC reminds healthcare providers, “Falls are not an inevitable part of aging. There are specific things that you, as their health care provider, can do to reduce their chances of falling.”
Healthcare providers can help prevent falls and increase a healthy, active lifestyle in older patients by implementing fall prevention training strategies:
- Identify your patients who are at low, moderate and high risk for falls.
- Identify their modifiable factors.
- Offer them effective interventions.
Asking the right questions:
- Have you fallen in the past year?
- Do you feel unsteady when standing or walking?
- Do you worry about falling?
Creating a safe living space:
- Eliminate fall/trip hazards.
- Install grab bars inside and outside bathtubs and showers and near the toilet.
- Install railings on both sides of stairs.
- Provide bright lighting.
Providing wellness opportunities:
- Provide exercise opportunities, which focus on improving leg strength and balance.
- Coordinate annual eye exams.
Advocates for elderly rights and nursing home negligence attorneys at The Murray Law Firm encourage nursing home owners to implement fall intervention programs and training according to CDC recommendations. By training staff on fall risk hazards and prevention strategies, implementing environmental safety features, and providing residents with proper exercise programs and behavioral strategies, many fall-related injuries and fatalities may be prevented.
By law, property owners and managers are required to protect residents legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. This responsibility is paramount when overseeing the health and care of elderly and/or disabled residents who may not be able to care for themselves. Should a nursing home owner or manager fail in this duty, the victim and their family may elect to hold the facility civilly liable for any injuries or wrongful deaths, which occur as a consequence.
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