Safe Steps for Seniorssm

One out of every three patients a physician cares for, over the age of 65 years, will fall this year. Many physicians will have patients that die from these falls. Many of those patients will suffer serious injuries. Most of these patients will live in fear of another fall and the fear alone will not only change the lives of the patients forever but, will also contribute to another fall.

These are the facts:

  • 30% of all seniors fall each year
  • One in every 3 adults, 65 years old experience a fall each year
  • 20-30% of people 65 years or older suffer serious injury, particularly hip fractures and head injuries, from the falls they sustain
  • 75-80% of hip fractures are sustained by women
  • Of those persons hospitalized for a hip fracture, 40% never return home or live independently again AND 25% will die within the year
  • 1.8M seniors were treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal injuries due to falls in 2003
  • The direct cost of falls is estimated to be in excess of 20B currently
  • By 2020, given the number of baby boomers turning age 65 in the next decade, the cost will be over $43B

HT's Fall Prevention Passion and Program

Because of our rehab focus, Home Therapy has developed a serious passion about the issue of falls. The fact that we deliver our services, primarily, in the homes of the patient puts us in a unique position to address fall prevention.

The result of our passion is Safe Steps for Seniorssm, a multi-component program we developed based on many months of research of the literature and existing programs in the U.S. and Canada.

In recent years, research has demonstrated that the most effective prevention tactics are multi-component interventions that address both personal and environmental risk factors (Stevens JA. Falls among older adults – risk factors and prevention strategies. In Falls Free: Promoting a National Falls Prevention Action Plan. Washington, DC: The National Council on Aging: 2005).

The Steps

  1. Balance Screening and Training
    - Vestibular rehab
  2. Strength Assessment and Training
  3. Gait and Mobility Assessment and Training
  4. Functional Vision
  5. Functional Hearing
  6. Depression Screening
  7. Medication Review
  8. Cardiovascular History
  9. Blood Pressure Screening
  10. Home Safe Homesm (Safer Home Assessment)
  11. Home Modifications
  12. Exercise Planning and Follow-Up
  13. Education of Patient and Caregivers

Physician Reports

For each patient, the physician will receive a Safe Steps Report that includes 1) a Fall Risk Profile; 2) Safer Home Assessment Report and intervention plan; 3) Relevant screening results; 4) Medication Alert if necessary and 5) Safe Steps Plan of Action.

Benefits of Safe Steps for Seniorssm

The benefits of the Safe Steps program go beyond fall prevention. If embraced by the patient, caregiver and other health care providers, the Safe Steps can:

  1. Increase the seniors independence thereby promoting the ability to "age in place" eliminating the need for alternative living arrangements.
  2. Decrease the burden of care improving the mental, physical and financial health of the caregiver.
  3. Increase overall home safety eliminating accidents other than falls.
  4. Increase overall wellness of the senior instituting a healthier lifestyle.
  5. Reduce hospitalizations reducing the medical costs for all involved.

Safe Steps for Your Patients

Please call us at 512-637-1550 or 800-865-6487 for more information or if we can begin to implement the Safe Steps with one of your patients.