Falls are one of the most common problems that face personal care homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Elderly residents in these communities are at risk for falls, some higher than others. Determining which residents are at high risk or why some keep falling can be a difficult task, however, as your long-term care pharmacy provider, we can help your community with this problem.
If a resident falls, the most important task is to first help the resident, then to make sure to document all the details about the incident. This includes noting the time of day, place, what the resident was doing, and even the resident’s footwear. Then, you should utilize your professional health care partners to help you identify risks and offer alternative solutions for the falling resident. Working with your long-term care pharmacy provider is a great place to start. Ask your pharmacy to complete a medication review for the resident and to assess fall risks due to medications. It may also be helpful to speak with the occupational or physical therapist and request an assessment of range of motion, walking, proper wheelchair adjustment and other physical assessments. Speaking with the resident’s physician about their diagnoses, prognosis and history may help provide useful information when assessing the falling resident. It’s important to remember that all staff members should be involved when a fall occurs. If everyone on the team is aware and knowledgeable about the falls in senior residents and how to prevent them, your community and residents will be at lower risk.
Guardian Pharmacy of Atlanta is happy to work with all of our communities to incorporate falls prevention programs. Whether your community needs to review a particular resident or provide falls and fall prevention courses, we are happy to assist. For more information, please contact our consultant pharmacist, Lori Newcomb, at 404-309-4958.