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Fall Prevention for Hospice Patients

Fall prevention is a critical aspect of hospice care. Hospice patients are often frail and weak, making them more susceptible to falls that can lead to serious injuries and complications.

Here are some key steps to take to prevent falls in hospice patients:

  • Environmental Modifications

  • Remove clutter and tripping hazards: Keep walkways clear of furniture, throw rugs, electrical cords, and other potential obstacles.

  • Improve lighting: Ensure there is adequate lighting throughout the living space, especially in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Consider nightlights for nighttime visibility.

  • Install grab bars: Grab bars in the bathroom (around the toilet and tub) and near the bedside can provide essential support when getting up and down.

  • Use non-slip mats: Place non-slip mats in the shower or tub and secure area rugs with double-sided tape or rug grippers.

  • Ensure proper footwear:  Encourage patients to wear well-fitting, low-heeled shoes with good traction.

  • Assistive Devices

  • Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs: Provide the appropriate assistive devices to help patients maintain stability while walking or transferring. A physical or occupational therapist can help assess which device is best suited for the patient's needs.

  • Raised toilet seats: A raised toilet seat can make it easier and safer for patients to get on and off the toilet.

  • Bed rails: Bed rails can provide support for patients when getting in and out of bed.

  • Medication Management

  • Review medications: Certain medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falls. Work with the Abbey Road Hospice team to review the patient's medications and see if any adjustments can be made to minimize these side effects.

  • Communication and Supervision

  • Open communication: Encourage patients to communicate their needs and ask for assistance when needed.

  • Supervision: Provide supervision or assistance with activities that pose a fall risk, such as getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, or walking.

By following these tips, you can help to create a safe environment for hospice patients and reduce the risk of falls.

Remember, even with the best precautions, falls can sometimes happen.



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