The Fall Prevention Program at Mount Sinai Hospital is designed to reduce falls as well as minimize the risk of resident injury. Research shows that many elderly residents have a higher risk of falling while in the hospital, more so than they do at home. Additionally, once a resident has fallen, they will be more prone to falling again, as their self-confidence has diminished.
Within 24 hours of admission to the hospital and on a regular basis thereafter, a nurse will assess the resident, in order to assess the risk of falling and identify appropriate prevention measures. All staff members caring for a particular resident will be notified of the assessment results in order to further prevent falls from occurring.
Residents and families/companions are encouraged to take the following precautions in order to minimize the risk of falling:
- Ensure that staff has placed the call bell within easy reach
- Always use the call bell if unable to reach an object
- Wait for a staff member to respond to your call bell – they will attend to you as quickly as possible
- If unable to walk independently, ask for help
- Wear sensible footwear, preferably with non-slip rubber soles
- Use aids, such as walkers, as prescribed
- Keep surroundings neat – cords, belts and oxygen tubes can cause falls
If a resident is at risk of falling, the medical staff may request an occupational therapy or physiotherapy consultation. These professionals will help the resident manage day-to-day activities such as walking, dressing, bathing and lavatory use.