One out of every four senior citizens will fall this year. And the consequences of that fall can be quite serious. In fact, the most common way for a senior citizen to lose their ability to live independently is through a fall.
At Beacon of LIFE, a government-approved PACE program in Oceanport, NJ, all participants are assessed for fall prevention and overall home safety when they first join, and then every 6 months.
We install any grab bars, shower chairs, stair lifts, ramps or any other safety equipment needed for the participant to remain safely in their home.
If there is an incident, the home is re-inspected, and the fall is discussed with the care team to determine what can be done to prevent any additional falls. Interventions may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, adjustments in medication, installation of additional equipment in the home — whatever is required to keep our participants healthy and safe.
Here are a few of the interventions that are important for preventing falls and preserving independence.
- Exercise As seniors reduce their activity level, they also reduce their muscle strength, which makes them more vulnerable to falls. We encourage our participants to take part in appropriate exercise to increase muscle strength and improve balance. Exercise programs of varying levels are offered in our own facility.
- Medication Management Chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, dementia, and low blood pressure create an increased risk of falling.
Moreover, seniors are more likely to have chronic health problems, and are therefore more likely to take multiple medications. These medications — by themselves and in combination — can cause dizziness, vision problems, and confusion. These side effects also increase the likelihood of a fall.
We continuously review the medications prescribed to our seniors with an eye toward reducing fall risk.
- Vision Management Our seniors have annual eye exams, and always wear glasses with a current prescription.
- Home Management Most falls occur in the home, and we make sure the environment is clutter-free, well lit, and offers easy access to objects the senior uses most frequently.
In seniors, falls are dangerous but avoidable. Taking the time to address fall risks, as we do at Beacon of LIFE, will increase both the length and quality of a senior’s life.
Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.
We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.
Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.