Fall Prevention Plan May Keep You Out of the Hospital

Older adults at risk for falls are less likely to suffer fall-related hospitalizations when they have a “fall plan of care,” according to research by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Older adult falls pose a growing burden to the U.S. healthcare system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries (STEADI) initiative was developed as a multifactorial approach to fall prevention that includes screening for fall risk, assessing for modifiable risk factors, and prescribing evidence-based interventions to reduce fall risk. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a STEADI initiative on medically treated falls within a large healthcare system in Upstate New York.

“Fall prevention activities such as raising awareness about fall risk, identifying individual risk for fall, discussing fall risk prevention strategies, and providing referrals to fall risk reduction programs in the community for older adults were shown to reduce fall-related hospitalizations,” said Yvonne Johnston, DrPH, research associate professor at the Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing and corresponding author of the paper. “As a result of these interventions, older adults may be more conscious of conditions that contribute to falls, take steps to modify their home environment to reduce fall risk, and participate in falls prevention programs and physical activities that improve strength and balance. These steps, what we called development of a Fall Plan of Care (FPOC), likely contributed to the observed lower rates of fall-related hospitalizations for older adults who were identified as being at risk for fall.”

This article was adapted from information provided by Binghamton University.

Top Image: AdobeStock.

For More Information

OPAF’s First Things First workshops, which are held around the country, teach attendees about fall prevention and recovery. A schedule of upcoming workshops, which are free for patient attendees, is included at www.opaffirstclinics.org.

Images courtesy of OPAF and The First Clinics.
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