(2/19/14) February 18, 2014, Black River Falls, WI – Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.
According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 suffer a fall every year; 20 to 30 percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head traumas. Additionally, for those who have fallen, even without injury, the development of a fear of falling will in turn limit their activities which reduce strength and mobility and will ultimately result in a greater risk of falling.
Fall prevention and safety interventions are a high priority at Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH). Education to prevent falls and to keep patients, visitors and staff safe is ongoing. This year, BRMH is inviting community members to join the educational activities. Starting Monday, March 3rd through Saturday March 8th, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., BRMH is providing a Fall Prevention and Safety Awareness exhibit in the main lobby of the hospital. The independent, interactive exhibit will include independent learning activities for community members as well as BRMH staff to identify fall risk factors, learn ways to intervene or change the risk factors as well as gain information about ongoing safety strategies. A prize drawing will be included for participants and educational materials will be available to help community members identify risks and interventions they can utilize at home.
The upcoming Fall Prevention and Safety Awareness Exhibit at BRMH is a learning event which coincides with National Patient Safety Awareness week, as well as the annual training provided to all BRMH employees. Each staff member at BRMH is trained to scan the hospitals' environment for fall risks and to directly intervene to maintain safety of patients, visitors, and staff. BRMH additionally sponsors an evidence based, eight-session program called "Stepping On" in which trained leaders provide information on exercise, vision, community mobility, and medications. For more information on fall prevention, contact the Rehabilitation Department at 715-284-1330.