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Fall Prevention: The Balanced Approach

Overview

The Falls Prevention Program is designed to identify patients at risk for falling in the home and to provide the appropriate plan of care to manage that risk. The program will coordinate care for patients under the direction of their physician, and provide ongoing assessment, education, and treatment for patients at risk for falls with any diagnosis. The Falls Prevention Program of Catholic Home Care follows guidelines created as a collaborative effort involving all Catholic Health Services of Long Island’s entities.

Components

  • Case management by experienced nurses and therapists who will coordinate the care prescribed by the physician.
  • Assessment of the patient’s status through individualized visits by the home care clinicians.
  • Interdisciplinary approach to identify patients at risk for falls through the use of rehabilitation staff and development of fall prevention strategies to reduce risk.
  • Evaluation and education by qualified Physical and/ or Occupational Therapist, including home exercise programs individualized to improve patient’s function, strength, and endurance.
  • Physical Therapist/Occupational Therapist provider will do a home assessment for safety and make recommendations to improve safety at home.
  • Balance assessment using multiple tools such as the Tinetti Gait and Balance Assessment Tool, Gait Speed, and the Missouri Falls Assessment Tool in order to monitor progress throughout the patient's program.
  • Vestibular screening done by a core group of specially trained Physical Therapists.
  • Education about the importance of exercise in treatment of balance disorders.
  • In-depth instruction of medications by our RN staff with identification of specific medications that place the patient at risk for falls.
  • Education related to dietary impact on medications, as well as meal planning, label reading, and food choices to manage other co-morbidities.

Outcomes

Each patient will receive a comprehensive initial assessment by the opening clinician to determine their risk for falls including history of falls, high risk medications, unsteady gait, and confusion that may contribute to the risk. Several indicators will be monitored to assess patient outcomes:

  • Patient’s ability to verbalize understanding of disease process and medications that may contribute to patient’s risk for falls.
  • Patient’s compliance with rehabilitation program and assistance with outpatient placement when patient is stabilized.
  • Knowledge of disease management including functional deficits with the emphasis on falls prevention, optimizing independence in activities of daily living (ADL’s), and knowledge/utilization of available community resources
  • Patient’s compliance with risk reduction strategies such as medication compliance, co-morbidity disease management, daily exercise, and weight reduction.