11 Sep Fall Prevention Day
September 21st, the first day of fall, is also Fall Prevention Day.
A recent study by the University of Michigan showed that falls are a leading cause of readmission to the hospital for seniors who had been discharged within the previous month.
Fall related injuries, such as broken hips, legs, shoulders, abrasions, etc., make up the 3rd leading cause of readmissions to hospitals for seniors. The risk was higher for patients discharged to their homes, as opposed to in-patient rehabilitation facilities.
For seniors with mental impairment who were admitted originally to the hospital because of a fall, another fall injury was the 2nd leading cause of readmission.
Finally, for seniors admitted originally because of fall-related injuries, a subsequent fall at home was the leading cause for hospital readmission.
Principal investigator Geoffrey Hoffman, an assistant professor at the U-M School of Nursing, said the study of 8.3 million patient readmissions shows that discharge planning related to fall prevention should be improved.
He told the Michigan News, “After discharge, the goal is to provide patient-centered fall prevention and to safely encourage patients to get up and move.” That’s because the fear of another fall often makes patients immobile, thus weakening their overall muscle strength.
Patients and their advocates should take personal charge of the situation. Get a home safety assessment completed and remove hazards such as throw rugs. Install grab bars and introduce strength training or physical therapy to improve mobility and confidence. Give At Home Nursing Care a call prior to hospital discharge for help and referrals, if needed.
To read the story in the Remington report – click here