Pathways to Fall Prevention is Functional Pathways’ program that partners with interdisciplinary team members in nursing facilities to provide individualized, person-centered care, and improve fall care processes and outcomes.
Many facilities have fall programs in place and while not all falls and injuries can be prevented, it is critical to have a systematic process of assessment, intervention and monitoring that results in minimizing fall risk.
Falls often have serious consequences, especially in frail older residents. Fall-related injuries decrease the resident’s quality of life and ability to function. Residents who fall without injury often develop a fear of falling that leads to self-imposed limitation of activity. One in every 10 residents who fall has a serious related injury and about 65,000 patients suffer a hip fracture each year.
Potential consequences for facilities are:
- Increased paperwork for staff
- Increased levels of care required for fallers
- Poor survey results
- Lawsuits and High insurance premiums
- Poor outcomes reflected on CASPER report and Nursing Home Compare
Pathways to Fall Prevention provides and interdisciplinary approach to identify and intervene, whenever possible, on the common causes of falls. Falls among nursing home residents are usually the consequence of a combination of risk factors, both intrinsic and extrinsic.
- Effects of aging on gait, balance and strength
- Acute medical conditions
- Chronic diseases
- Deconditioning from inactivity
- Behavioral symptoms and unsafe behaviors
- Medication side effects
- Environmental hazards
- Unsafe equipment
- Inaccessible personal items
- Unstable furniture, ineffective WC brakes
- Improper footwear
Pathways to Fall Prevention assists facilities in addressing both intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors. It is important to remember that not all falls can be prevented. Nonetheless, research shows that a facility’s fall rate can be substantially reduced by using a multifaceted approach that includes comprehensive falls assessment and individualized care planning by an interdisciplinary team, organizational support and appropriate management using quality improvement methods.