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September 20-24th is Falls Prevention Awareness Week! It’s no secret that falls are serious, even life threatening, especially to adults over the age of 65+.  According to the CDC:  

  • 3 million people

     age 65+ are treated in the ER for fall injuries

  • 1/5 falls cause serious injury

     such as broken bones or head injury

  • Two-thirds of those who fall, will 

    fall again within 6 months

     

  • An older adult 

    dies from a fall every 20 minutes

     

  • 1 in 4 people age 65+ fall each year, and 

    less than half tell their doctor

     

Although falls are common, they are not a normal part of aging. Many risk factors can lead to falls, but these can be changed and prevent falls from occurring.  How can healthcare professionals help prevent patient falls?  Here are some ways that nurses can help: 

  • Provide personal care help in the bathroom and with dressing  

  • Be on the lookout for items that are risks, including chords or rugs in nursing homes 

  • Assist with standing up and walking  

  • Provide medication reminders 

  • Make sure residents have proper non-slips socks/shoes 

  • Take free educational training through the 

    CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative

     

To learn more about fall prevention, visit the CDC’s website.Sources:  https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-FactSheet-MajorThreat-508.pdfhttps://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/steadi_clinicianfactsheet-a.pdfhttps://www.cdc.gov/features/older-adult-falls/index.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/steadi/training.html