Research Medical Center is committed to preventing falls. Providing safe, quality care is our top priority.
Our staff will assess your risk of falling and discuss the results with you to develop and implement a care plan suited to your needs. We are providing this information to you and your loved ones to help reduce your risk of falling before, during and after your hospital stay. Our staff will take all precautions to help prevent such an event, but we also need your assistance.
If at any time during your stay you have questions regarding fall prevention contact the nurse caring for you.
Reducing your risk of falling
Before your stay:
- Bring canes, walkers, leg braces or any other assistive devices to the hospital, and to our staff's attention.
- If you have a walking aid, make sure it is in good condition and that you use it rather than using furniture or walls for balance.
- Always keep glasses or hearing aids with you. Please inform our staff of the whereabouts and storage of these items so we may make sure they stay with you.
- Bring and wear comfortable clothing that is not too long or loose. Whenever you are up and about, wear comfortable, low-heeled and non-slip shoes that fit you well, rather than slippers.
During your stay:
- You may be visited by a Patient Safety Coach. This coach will explain your fall prevention care plan in detail as well as provide you with information on where you and your loved ones can access fall prevention information.
- If staff recommends you need assistance or supervision when moving, please ask them for assistance and wait until they come to help you. His or her contact information is listed on your MyCare Communication Board.
- If staff recommends you wear a yellow wrist band and/or yellow socks, be certain to leave them on at all times during your stay.
- If you have a bed alarm in place, please do not disconnect the alarm. This alarm is one method used to prevent a fall.
- Let staff know if you feel unwell or unsteady on your feet.
- Familiarize yourself with your medications. Know what side effects your medications could cause: dizziness, light headedness, weakness or similar conditions.
- We appreciate your loved ones trying to assist you with getting in and out of bed or from a chair, but sometimes with illness one may have a sudden or significant change in strength and ability to walk. So again, we encourage you to notify staff for assistance.
- If you do have a bed alarm in place, please do not disconnect the alarm. This alarm is one method used to prevent a fall.
- Try and familiarize yourself with your room, its furniture and bathroom. Keep your eyes open for any possible environmental hazards, such as spills and clutter that may cause a fall.
If you do have a fall, the staff will take action to identify what contributed to your fall and reduce the risk of you experiencing another. You may be assessed by a doctor and staff will repeat some or all of your fall risk assessment. This may result in changes to your care plan.
However, any changes to your care plan will be discussed with you before implementation.
Remember, preventing falls is important when you go home, as well. Before you leave the hospital you may be referred to follow-up services to make your home safer and to reduce your risk of falling.
Protect yourself at home:
- Wear correctly fitting shoes or gripping house slippers indoors so you do not slip.
- Participate in an exercise routine that includes balance, gait and strength training, such as tai chi or physical therapy. (Check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise routine.)
- Do or have an environmental assessment of your home to eliminate fall risk factors, such as throw rugs, clutter, exposed cords, and other household items that could cause a hazard.
- Have your hearing and vision checked periodically. Inner ear problems can affect balance. Poor vision can make it difficult to judge distances or see potential fall or tripping hazards.
- Store frequently used items where they can be reached easily.
- Use nightlights in bathrooms, bedrooms and hallways or any other poorly lit areas.