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Preventing Falls - Number One Reason For Hospital Readmissions | Fedelta Home Care, Seattle WA

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August 14, 2013

Preventing Falls - Number One Reason For Hospital Readmissions

How to prevent falls in the home is a key question care givers are asking to reduce hospital readmissions. In a recent blog article, http://www.fedeltahomecare.com/blog/news/post/how-to-reduce-hospital-readmissions  we discussed how to reduce hospital readmissions. Since falls are cited by hospital admissions administrators as the number one reason for readmission, this serious concern merits more attention for you and your loved one.  According to AARP, “One third of adults 65 and older fall once a year.” That is a number we would like to see drastically reduced.  http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-02-2011/new_strategies_for_fall_prevention.html

Being mindful or fully aware of what we are doing as we are going about our daily lives can be a first step in preventing falls.  Consider the word prevent to recall the following tips for preventing falls, especially for home health care families.

  • Plan ahead when visitors come with pets and children to keep toys in a designated area to decrease tripping over them.  Have walkers, canes and wheelchairs nearby to eliminate tripping and falling. Even though we all love a surprise – if you know a visitor will cause a lot of excitement try to talk about the pending event to ease any anxiety.
  • Rearrange furnishings to create clear walking paths to and from bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom areas. Safety bars above bathtub and next to toilet can help eliminate falls in these areas. Replace bath mat to assure good traction.
  • Evaluate your home health care environment and call a professional when you need assistance. Is your floor too slippery? Are your chairs and couch too low to get in and out of easily? Are your hallways free of clutter?
  • View your surroundings with a trusted friend for potential hazards. Take a picture of each room and study it for potential hazards.  We often need a second opinion as we get used to the status quo.
  • Eliminate throw rugs with bent or uneven edges from wear as well as slippery shoes, slippers or flip-flops.  Exercise to increase balance and muscle strength.  Even a short walk can help.
  • Never forget safety even when you are in a hurry.
  • Take time to get to and from rooms with a walker or cane and take time to enjoy nature – getting outside as much as possible to smell the roses.

Use the above list to print and post as a safety reminder. Preventing falls can help you put a dent in those high incidences of hospital readmissions. You have the power and ability to take these positive steps towards a healthier, safer and happier life.  Remember that stretching, walking, swimming and yoga can improve balance and help eliminate falls so you can stay well and out of the hospital.


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