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Fall is officially around the corner, and now is the perfect time to take a close look at your home or facility's fall prevention efforts. Falls are a serious problem in nursing homes, with roughly 1,800 residents dying each year from fall-related injuries.
Preventing falls requires implementing interventions at the organizational, staff and resident levels. There are also a number of products on the market designed to help reduce falls and fall-related injuries, including:
Fall mats: These mats are typically placed at the bedside and help to absorb the impact from falls and prevent serious injury.
Alarm/sensor pad systems: These two-piece systems can be placed in chairs or beds to alert staff when residents at risk of falls are on the move.
Non-skid slippers: These slippers have slip-resistant soles. Many facilities use a color-coding system to indicate which residents are at a high risk of falling.
Bathtub safety mats: Typically held in place by suction cups, these mats create a slip-resistant surface during bathing.
Grab bars: Mounted either horizontally or vertically, grab bars provide additional support and balance.
Raised toilet seats: Elevating a toilet seat's height can make it easier for the resident to sit and stand.
Falls are one of the most challenging problems in long-term care, and tag F-323 is one of the most common deficiencies in the nation. We've included guidance below on what to do after a fall occurs as well as how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
It's important to take proper action following a fall, including asking the resident and/or staff:
"How did this happen?"
Determining what may have caused or contributed to the fall and revising the resident's care plan and/or facility practices to reduce the likelihood of another fall is crucial.