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Senior Fall Prevention

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In collaberation with Temple University Physician Roberta A. Newton, PHD, Visiting Angels has developed a Fall Prevention Program. Falls are the 2nd leading cause of accidental deaths in the US, with …

In collaberation with Temple University Physician Roberta A. Newton, PHD, Visiting Angels has developed a Fall Prevention Program. Falls are the 2nd leading cause of accidental deaths in the US, with 75% of these falls being in the senior population. We hope to decrease future incidents by offering this program free of charge.

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  • 1. Fall Prevention What Can You Do? Source: Temple University/College of Health Professions: Roberta A. Newton, PhD Professor of Physical Therapy America’s Choice in Homecare A public service from
  • 2. The Importance Are you aware . . .
    • Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States
    • Seventy-five percent of these falls occur in the older adult population
    • One third of the older adults who fall, sustain a hip fracture and are hospitalized, die within a year
    • Health care costs for falls and rehabilitation average 70 billion dollars a year!
    source: Temple University/College of Health Professions Roberta A. Newton, PhD
  • 3. Most Falls are Preventable A simple evaluation and assessment can reduce the likelihood and prevent most falls. Examine your loved one’s . . .
    • Health & Safety
    • Abilities & Limitations
    • Home
  • 4. Health & Safety
    • Do they take 4 or more medications daily?
    • Multiple medications can cause dizziness, drowsiness and balance problems. It is important to have all of your medications reviewed at least once a year by a pharmacist or doctor.
  • 5. Health & Safety
    • Have you or those around you noticed a change in their hearing?
    • Dizziness can occur with hearing loss. Set up an appointment to have your hearing checked.
  • 6. Health & Safety
    • Have you or those around you noticed a change in their vision?
    • Seeing obstacles is the first step in avoiding a fall. Keep your glasses clean. Have your eyes examined once a year.
  • 7. Health & Safety
    • Have they fallen 2 or more times in the past 6 months?
    • Get a checkup! Falls lead to injuries. You need to find out why are falling.
  • 8. Health & Safety
    • Do they wear floppy slippers or a long bathrobe?
    • Wear well-fitting slippers with non-skid soles. Avoid night clothing that drags on the ground. Keep robe tied.
  • 9. Abilities & Limitations Do they have trouble with . . .
    • Reaching overhead?
    • Put commonly used things on shelves that are easy to reach. If you must reach overhead, keep a sturdy stool handy.
    • Picking up objects from the floor?
    • Plan ahead. Move the object closer to something sturdy to hold on to.,
  • 10. Abilities & Limitations Do they have trouble with . . .
    • Getting in and out of the bathtub?
    • Consider adding grab bars to the walls or using a tub seat to assist with bathing. Non-skid tub mats & a hand held shower can also be useful.
  • 11. Abilities & Limitations Do they have trouble with . . .
    • Getting in and out of a chair?
    • Avoid sitting on low furniture. Chairs with arms make it easier to get up.
    • Walking without holding on to something?
    • If they feel unsteady without holding on to something, you may need a cane. Consult your doctor or health care provider.
  • 12. Home Assessment
    • Throw rugs?
    • Throw rugs pose a tripping hazard. They should be tacked down or removed.
    • Stairs without rails?
    • Using hand rails to go up and down stairs is easier and safer. Add hand rails to all stairs, if possible.
    Do they have . . .
  • 13. Home Assessment Do they have . . .
    • Clutter in the walking space?
    • Clutter such as shoes, electrical cords and magazines is a safety hazard. Keep pathways clear.
  • 14. Home Assessment Do they have . . .
    • Dark hallways or stairwells?
    • Good lighting can reduce the chance of falling. Consider adding night lights where overhead lighting is lacking. Add bright tape strips to the edge of each stair. Always keep a charged flashlight near your bed for emergencies. A night light in the bathroom can also make night trips to the bathroom safer.
  • 15. Home Assessment Do they have . . .
    • Unsafe Stairs?
    • Broken or worn steps?
    • Unsecured railings?
    • Immediatley repair or replace any of these important items!
  • 16. Home Assessment Do they have . . .
    • Loosley run electrical and extension cords?
    • Eliminate this hazzard by running all electrical cords along walls.
    • Household appliances out of reasonable reach?
    • Place frequently used kitchen and other appliances within easy reach.
  • 17. Home Assessment Are they prone to . . .
    • Spills that go unwiped?
    • Spills on the floor can be dangerous. It is best to wipe up spills as soon as they happen.
    • Wet or puddled bathroom floors?
    • Puddled water in bathrooms poses a threat.
  • 18. Home Assessment
    • Are there telephones within easy reach at multiple locations throughout the house?
    • If your answer is “Yes”, than help is only a quick phone call away!
  • 19. The Fear Factor
    • Fear can lead to loss of self-confidence and inactivity.
    • Fear is not only associated with falling down but also with getting up once having fallen.
  • 20. Assistive Devices A properly fitted cane, walker, or assistive device should be in good condition. Individuals may carelessly use a variety of objects to substitute for a cane; for example, use an umbrella that is not stable or does not have a rubber tip.
  • 21. Assistive Devices Although viewed as a stigma of old age, a cane may prevent a fall. It should be noted that a learning curve does occur with the use of a cane because it is another object that needs to be manipulated. Some individuals need time to adjust to an assistive device before it becomes second nature.
  • 22. Shoes & Feet
    • Proper shoes can . . .
    • Lead to pain-free mobility
    • Reduce the potential for some foot problems
    • Assist in the correction of some foot problems
    • Help the individual stay active, and may reduce the risk of falls
    • Aid in some balance problems
  • 23. Shoes & Feet
    • Inspect shoes for . . .
    • Uneven wearing of soles and heels
    • Slippery areas of the soles and heels
    • Any unevenness inside the shoes
  • 24. Shoes & Feet
    • Eliminate . . .
    • Open heeled shoes and slippers
    • Plastic soles and heels
    • Soles that grip too much
    • Heels that are over ½” high
    • Soles that are too “grippy” can also contribute to a fall just as easily as soles that are too slippery.
  • 25. Too Many Ways to Fall
    • Do Not . . .
    • Move furniture that does not pose a threat!
    • We all have “cognitive maps" of our environment; that is, we are able to maneuver in our home environment with eyes closed. We tend to know where objects are and tend not to run into things. We do not recommend that older adults rearrange things unless absolutely necessary.
  • 26. Too Many Ways to Fall
    • By no means is this all of the ways an individual can fall.
    • Using these common sense guidelines and assessments can dramatically reduce the chances of a fall occurring.
  • 27. Fall Prevention Questions We Wish to Extend A Thank You to . . . Temple University/College of Health Professions Roberta A. Newton, PhD Professor of Physical Therapy America’s Choice in Homecare A public service from

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