FRANKLIN — Franklin Regional Hospital is participating in the National Falls Free Initiative declaring September 23, 2014, Falls Prevention Awareness Day.
Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those 65 years of age and over. Every 14 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. The chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increase with age.
This year's theme, Strong Today – Falls Free® Tomorrow, highlights the important roles professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members play in raising awareness and preventing falls in the older adult population.
LRGHealthcare offers seniors programs in order to maintain their livelihood. LRGHealthcare is proud to have been one of 24 hospitals chosen nationally to implement BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults through Safe Transitions) and is the only healthcare organization in the country with the Almost Home Program. The Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM) created BOOST to improve patient care as they transition from hospital to home. The Almost Home Program provides patient education in a home-like environment where patients can practice the skills needed to care for themselves at home.
"Through BOOST and other patient improvement programs, LRGHealthcare can reassure our older patients and their loved ones that when they are ready to return home, it will be without a high risk of falling," stated Gloria Thorington, Director of Medical Safety and Health Management.
Deb Clarke, Director of Patient Care Services at FRH shared a combination of interventions that can significantly reduce falls among older adults:
· A physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components.
· Consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment.
· Having medications reviewed periodically.
· Getting eyes checked annually.
· Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
· Having an annual hearing assessment.
In conjunction with BOOST and Almost Programs, the nursing staff at Franklin Regional Hospital will be raising awareness for fall prevention by wearing yellow on September 23.
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