Have any of your parents, family members or friends fallen in their homes? Have they stumbled over a pet, tripped on a throw rug, or slipped in the bathroom? If so, this program assisting the elderly to prevent falls in their homes may be able to help.
The Fall Prevention Program offers the elderly home safety assessments and the installation of free fall prevention devices. To qualify, individuals must be 55 years or older (or care for someone), and reside in Satellite Beach.
Firefighters for Satellite Beach Fire Department perform the home assessments. They also provide information on how to have risk reduction devices (RRDs) such as tub grab bars, toilet assist bars, shower chairs, transfer benches, bed assist railings, wall grab bars, rug slips, bath mats, night lights, tread tape, smoke alarms, and carpet tape installed.
An especially crucial component of any fall evaluation is an assessment of the patient's medications. The use of four or more prescribed medications has been found to be a risk factor for falls.
Some medications that have been associated with an increased risk of causing falls are. In addition to reviewing the medication list, it is important to find out which of these are actually being taken and whether any over-the-counter or herbal preparations are being used. .
Falls in the elderly are a serious problem with high morbidity and mortality. It has been estimated that of those 65 and older who are living in their own homes, nearly one-third will fall each year. Of those who fall, one in forty will be hospitalized.
Of those who are hospitalized, only half will be alive at the end of the year. Those who have had one fall are at increased risk for further falls. It is hoped that the relatively inexpensive intervention of making the home environment safer will prevent elderly patients who have had a previous fall from having another potentially more dangerous fall.