Reducing Your Risk of Falls in the Hospital
When should you talk to your nurse about fall prevention and daily mobility plans?
When you are admitted, you and your nurse will talk about your risk for falling while in the hospital. Based on your risk, a fall prevention plan will be created to keep you safe. A daily mobility plan will keep you active and moving. These plans highlight what you and your care team will do together to keep you safe and active.
Remember why fall prevention in the hospital is so important:
- Three percent of hospitalized patients fall.
- Thirty percent of these falls result in injury.
- Falling delays your treatment and keeps you in the hospital longer.
What can increase your risk for falling?
- An unfamiliar setting.
- Medicines that cause dizziness and confusion.
- Illness, tests and treatments that make you weak and unsteady on your feet.
- Lack of activity.
What can you do to reduce your risk for falling?
- Follow your mobility plan. Being active keeps you strong.
- Call for help when you need to get up or go to the bathroom.
- Keep what you need within reach, especially your call button.
- Get out of bed slowly in three steps. First, sit up. Then, sit on the side of the bed. Then, stand up. This should stop you from getting dizzy.
- Use your assistive device when you get up.
- Turn on the lights. Do not move around in the dark.
- Wear non-skid footwear such as rubber-soled slippers or non-skid socks.
- Keep your surroundings free of clutter. Ask your nurses to help you keep your room free of clutter.
- Use grab bars in the bathroom. Use the grab bars to sit down and to get up from the toilet.
How can you work with your nurses to reduce your risk for falling?
- Talk to them about any recent falls you have had.
- Allow caregivers to be within arms-reach when they take you to the bathroom. They will give you privacy while keeping you safe. They will not leave you alone.
- Follow your toileting plan.
- Remember the bed or chair alarm is “turned on” to remind you to call for help before you get up.
- Keep your yellow socks and yellow bracelet on at all times. They remind everyone that you are at risk for falls.
- Follow the caregivers' instructions when they direct you to eat your meals in a chair, when they walk you to the bathroom and/or help you use a bedside commode and when they ask you to actively take part in your daily mobility plan.
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