Overview of the Falls Prevention Strategy
Falls are not just about getting older. A fall can cause minor or serious injuries. Even without an injury a fall can cause a loss of confidence, increased fear, decreased activity level, which may then lead to a decline in health and possibly future falls. Most falls are predictable and preventable. There can be many factors that contribute to a fall, becoming aware of these factors can foster a culture of safety within the agency and reduce the number of falls for our clients.
Goal of BISNO’S Fall Prevention Strategy
1. To educate individuals in service, families/significant others and staff of the health risks associated with falls and provide some prevention strategies to reduce the risk of a fall.
2. To reduce the number of fall related incidents at BISNO.
3. To create a culture of safety within BISNO.
BISNO’s Risk of Falls Assessment Questionnaire
To assess a client’s risk of falling, a questionnaire will be completed that outlines some potential factors that contribute to most falls. This questionnaire will be completed when individuals start receiving services from BISNO.
BISNO’s Falls Risk Assessment Questionnaire will be completed upon the client’s admission to service and will be repeated if there is a change in the client’s medical or physical condition.
This assessment will identify those individuals that are at a higher risk of experiencing a fall. Clients that are rated high for risk of falls will have an Individual Fall Prevention Plan completed.
When clients experience a fall, the Falls Assessment Questionnaire will be completed again and a Falls Prevention Plan will be implemented or changed for the client.
Fall prevention will be addressed in orientation for new staff and annually thereafter.
Clients and families/significant others will be educated by their Rehabilitation Facilitators regarding the health risks associated with falls and strategies to reduce the risk. The clients will be provided with some household tips to make their homes safer in order to reduce the risk of a fall.
To further help in bringing awareness to fall prevention we will post information on bulletin boards at all sites, as well as on our website.
Evaluation of BISNO’s Fall Prevention Strategy
Prior to the implementation of this strategy we will have a baseline of the total number of falls for clients at BISNO in one year. We will compare the number of falls each year to this baseline number in hopes that the number will decrease with the implementation of this new strategy.
Client Fall Prevention Plan
The four key areas that will be looked at in each Falls Prevention Plan will be
1. Regular Exercise
A Physiotherapist and/or Occupational Therapist will be called to complete an assessment and implement an exercise program for the participant that will focus on strength improvement as well as balance and coordination exercises. Staff will encourage the client to complete these exercises as often as possible.
2. Medication review
The client and the Rehabilitation Facilitator will review with the family physician the client’s current medications and the possible side-effects such as dizziness or light headedness that may lead to a fall.
Visual acuity decreases with age. Therefore, periodic eye exams or checkups are recommended. Be aware that either old prescriptions or new prescriptions can alter the visual field and cause falls. Also clients should be reminded to clean their glasses daily or have staff clean them daily.
4. Household safety review
Each residential site will have a checklist of safety items that the staff will review on a daily basis to ensure that the environment is obstacle-free.
In Community Outreach Support Services the Rehabilitation Facilitators will provide information and assist the clients and family to make the environment as safe as possible, this includes completing the “Home Safety Audit”. The RF and/or designate will review the tips to help avoid a fall.
The following items should be reviewed
- Check the stairs for any broken or worn steps and make sure there is nothing left sitting on the stairs.
- Check railings for broken or missing railings
- Make sure lighting is good – no burnt out lights in areas where someone could fall
- Make sure nightlights are located in areas for clients to see if they get out of bed at night
- If throw rugs are needed they must be fastened with double-stick tape
- Make sure that nothing has spilled onto the floor. If a spill occurs it must be mopped up immediately.
- Make sure all sturdy poles are secured and in good working condition.
- Make sure that the floor is clear of clutter that someone could trip over such as cords or shoes etc.
Clients in the Assisted Living Programs will be assessed by an OT for getting into and out of the shower/tub and also will have a transfer protocol if assistance is needed with any transfer.