How to Help

Professionals in the Community

Professionals from medical providers to volunteer firefighters to health educators and everything in between can play a role in preventing falls. 

Why should you care? Because reducing falls risk can reduce fall-related hospitalizations and injuries, such as hip fractures or traumatic brain injuries, reduce healthcare costs and improve the lives of older adults.

Click on the following to see what you can do to help prevent falls in the community:

Health Systems, MCOs & IRIS Consultant Agencies

  • Share information from the falls risk screening and medication review with your client and their primary care provider

  • Educate your clients on how certain medications can increase their risk of falling

  • Refer patient to an evidence-based falls prevention program such as Stepping On

Public Safety (Fire & EMS)
  • Partner with your local county or tribal aging unit, Aging & Disability Resource Center or healthcare system to develop a referral system for lift assist calls that you respond to. Consider using systems like ImageTrend or Jotform for referrals or implementing a Community EMS Program. Contact your Regional Trauma Advisory Council (RTAC) if you are interested in using Jotform or ImageTrend in your community.  

  • When responding to lift assist calls, provide falls prevention resources before leaving

  • Engage in community programming for falls prevention, such as Stepping On or Mugs for Rugs

Occupational & Physical Therapists
  • Provide a home assessment for patients to identify falls risk hazards and work with patients to mitigate those risks

  • Evaluate patients’ falls risk and provide personalized interventions to improve physical function to reduce falls risk

  • Work with health systems to ensure referral policies are in place when a patient is identified as being at higher falls risk

  • Educate patients on how to use assistive devices correctly

  • Build patients’ confidence in performing their activities of daily living. By building confidence, this may help reduce the fear of falling that some older adults have

Community Organizations

Residential Living Facilities
  • Follow the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines for resident safety 

  • Have a policy/procedure in place and ensure employees and family members know what to do in case a fall occurs – call 911 if needed, check vitals, discuss prevention of future falls, etc., 

  • Hold falls prevention educational programs – like a Stepping On workshop (for independent living facilities only)

  • Post signs for residents throughout the facility with falls prevention tips on topics such as: 
    -Proper footwear 
    -Proper lighting (especially for bathroom trips at night) 
    -Using assistive devices like canes and walkers – Don’t forget your walker! 
    -Slow and steady wins the race 
    -Call for help, don’t have a fall!  
    -Reach back for the chair before you sit 
    -Always have 3 points of contact 

  • Provide resources for incontinence and bladder control exercises/strategies – consider offering a Mind Over Matter: Healthy Bowels, Healthy Life workshop 

  • Ensure caregivers and family members have the resources they need to start the conversation about falls prevention 

  • Consider completing falls risk assessments prior to admission or if there is a change in the resident’s condition 

  • Help residents access resources such as occupational or physical therapy, medication reviews, exercise programs, vision exams, etc., 

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