Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare
Every September, on the first day of fall, the National Council on Aging promotes National Falls Prevention Awareness Week. Fall prevention is a team effort. Healthcare providers, including primary care specialists, pharmacists, and physical therapists can work together to reduce fall risk in their older adult patients. It doesn’t stop there. Communities, local fire and rescue services, caregivers, family members, and more can all play a role in fall prevention.
CDC’s free, online, provider training, STEADI: Empowering Healthcare Providers to Reduce Fall Risk, offers information and tools needed to screen, assess, and intervene to reduce fall risk among older patients (aged 65 and over). The provider training also covers the latest data on the burden of falls and provides tips to integrate fall prevention into clinical practice. This accredited course offers continuing education for nurses, pharmacists, public health professionals and health education specialists as well as general CEUs.
It is important that healthcare providers feel empowered to discuss fall prevention with their older patients. More than half of older adults who fall do not report their falls or discuss their concerns about falling with their healthcare provider(s). Not all falls cause injuries, but about 20% of falls do result in an injury, including hip fracture or traumatic brain injury. These injuries can make it hard for older adults to stay mobile, do everyday activities, or live independently.
CDC’s Coordinated Care Plan to Prevent Older Adult Falls offers providers specific steps they can use to implement a clinical fall prevention program that includes screening, assessment, and intervention to reduce fall risk. In addition, two customizable slide decks are available.
- Building Clinical Strategies to STEADI Your Older Patients offers healthcare providers a template for how to inform healthcare administrators on the value and importance of a STEADI-based fall prevention program.
- STEADI Our Staff for Fall Prevention includes slides to train healthcare providers and clinic staff on using STEADI tools and resources.
CDC’s pharmacist training, STEADI: The Pharmacist’s Role in Older Adult Fall Prevention, provides pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and ability to identify fall prevention strategies that they can integrate within their practice. This training provides strategies to help pharmacists screen older adults for fall risk, conduct medication review and management, and offer patient education.
This accredited course offers Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) credit for the successful completion of this course.
CDC’s Still Going Strong campaign encourages older adults (age 65 and older) to age without injury and provides simple steps that older adults, their loved ones, and their healthcare providers can take to prevent injuries from a fall, car crash, and traumatic brain injury.
Check out the Falls Patient Education Guide available through Briggs Healthcare.
This Patient Education Guide is designed to help patients/residents, families, caregivers, healthcare staff understand important information about falls in the older adult. Information is presented in a question-and-answer format and provides:
- Answers to common questions
- Action items for self-assessment of risk
- Steps to reduce the risk of falling
- What is a Fall?
- What are the Statistics for Falls?
- What are the Risk Factors for Falling?
- Have You Fallen? (Self-assessment of Risk)
- What Should You Do If You Fall?
- What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Falling?
- Location of Important Documents with Your Wishes
- My Contact Numbers
- Questions to Ask My Doctor
- Personal Notes to My Doctor/Family/Caregivers
- Medication Profile