Minimizing Fall Risks When Leaving Hospital
Written by Craig B

Minimizing Fall Risks When Leaving Hospital

  • There is a high incidence of falls after hospital discharge, particularly among patients who are functionally dependent. Major fall risk factors at discharge include: decline in mobility, use of assistive devices and cognitive impairment/confusion.
  • Patients who were functionally dependent and needed professional help after discharge had the highest rate of falls.
  • Hospitalization in older adults, including those who are admitted for medical problems, rehabilitation and acute care, has been shown to be associated with decline in function and mobility – creating a higher risk of slip and fall accidents.
  • The period after discharge has been shown to be associated with high risk of falls, social problems and medication errors, with up to 30% of older people experiencing an adverse event following hospital discharge.
  • 45% of older people fall in the period following discharge.
  • One study examining the incidence of falls in older, recently hospitalized medical patients requiring post-discharge home care, found that falls were substantially increased during the first month after hospital discharge.
  • Research has shown that fall prevention home safety assessment and home safety modification intervention immediately following discharge critically reduces the risk of falls once at home.
  • A full clinical assessment of function as it relates to how individuals are navigating their environment doing daily tasks (restroom, shower, walking through the home). Installation of safety grab bars, commode risers, shower chairs, ramps and rails are just a few of the modifications which can be made that will reduce fall risk.
  • Typically, upon discharge, families and are overwhelmed and often don’t know where to turn for resources (you can bring in MB home safety here if you’d like). Coming home following discharge is a critical time, where patients are often in a weakened, tired and cognitively impaired state. Family members rush to “get something in”. Just having a “safety grab bar” won’t do the trick, where your bar is placed and clinical attention to the placement of any modification is imperative in not risking further injury.

Related Posts

Conversations to Have with Your Aging Parents: Creating a Falls-Free World

We often worry about our aging parents’ safety, well-being and even fiscal health, and many adult children find themselves in the sometimes-awkward position of having to bring up these sensitive conversations with aging parents. Among these concerns, fall prevention may be the hardest to bring up – especially if your parents have chosen to retain [...]

When Denial Gets in the Way of Safety

As we age, there is no doubt in our hearts we feel young. And although being young at heart is wonderful, this ethereal feeling is no match for the ever-changing state of our bodies and the status of our health. As we age, changes take place with our health that can dramatically affect our ability [...]

4 Wheel Walkers

More and more individuals are opting for wheeled walkers, also known as rollators, over traditional models with no or only front wheels. If you don't have the strength or endurance to lift and push a standard walker all day, a wheeled walker can help you go around. There are a few different types of wheeled [...]

Minimizing Fall Risks When Leaving Hospital
Written by webtechs

Fall Risk at Discharge – What You Need To Know

  • There is a high incidence of falls after hospital discharge, particularly among patients who are functionally dependent. Major fall risk factors at discharge include: decline in mobility, use of assistive devices and cognitive impairment/confusion.
  • Patients who were functionally dependent and needed professional help after discharge had the highest rate of falls.
  • Hospitalization in older adults, including those who are admitted for medical problems, rehabilitation and acute care, has been shown to be associated with decline in function and mobility – creating a higher risk of slip and fall accidents.
  • The period after discharge has been shown to be associated with high risk of falls, social problems and medication errors, with up to 30% of older people experiencing an adverse event following hospital discharge.
  • 45% of older people fall in the period following discharge.
  • One study examining the incidence of falls in older, recently hospitalized medical patients requiring post-discharge home care, found that falls were substantially increased during the first month after hospital discharge.
  • Research has shown that fall prevention home safety assessment and home safety modification intervention immediately following discharge critically reduces the risk of falls once at home.
  • A full clinical assessment of function as it relates to how individuals are navigating their environment doing daily tasks (restroom, shower, walking through the home). Installation of safety grab bars, commode risers, shower chairs, ramps and rails are just a few of the modifications which can be made that will reduce fall risk.
  • Typically, upon discharge, families and are overwhelmed and often don’t know where to turn for resources (you can bring in MB home safety here if you’d like). Coming home following discharge is a critical time, where patients are often in a weakened, tired and cognitively impaired state. Family members rush to “get something in”. Just having a “safety grab bar” won’t do the trick, where your bar is placed and clinical attention to the placement of any modification is imperative in not risking further injury.

Related Posts

Written by webtechs

The Risks of Returning to Work Early Following an Injury

The Risks of Returning to Work Early Following an Injury

The potential effects of early return-to-work without appropriate physical restrictions can be devastating.

All too often, I hear stories of individuals being released back to work following an injury or illness before they are ready. Frequently, these people are victims of systematic pressure, i.e., someone is trying to control claims costs at the expense of their health.

Many times, the individual is released prematurely or inappropriately due to a doctor’s unfamiliarity with the return-to-work form or the physician just doesn’t have the time or resources to test function and fill the form out correctly.

This potentially puts the individual in harm’s way – especially if the appropriate physical work restrictions aren’t in place. Not all employers offer “modified or light duty” assignments that allow employees to come back to work while they heal and gradually progress back to full duty.

Without the appropriate work restrictions in place when an employee returns to work, they may be required to perform work tasks that put them at risk of re-injury or re-aggravation of their condition.

No one wins in this scenario. The employer is at risk of losing their valuable employee and the individual is at risk of developing a chronic condition.

Workplace interventions for preventing needless work disability start with an accurate understanding of what an individual’s true functional abilities are, and one of the most reliable ways to determine a person’s true functional capacity for return to work is through objective functional testing.

Related Posts