Falls are a major cause of injury in Canadian hospitals. Some medical conditions, medications and an increase in time spent in bed in an unfamiliar environment can diminish your strength, alter your balance and put you at risk for falling.
Every patient will have a falls assessment completed upon admission to the hospital. If you have been identified as a high risk for falls, you will be required to wear a yellow wristband and a falls risk sign will be placed at the bedside to alert other care providers of this risk. Additional ways to prevent falls will be included in your care plan.
You and your family can minimize your risk by:·
- Telling your health care team if you have had a fall in the past.
- Wearing proper non-skid/non-slip supportive footwear with rubber soles. (Do not walk around your room wearing only stockings or socks!)
- Making sure that your clothing fits properly and doesn't drag on the floor.
- Ensuring that your call bell is within your reach to call for assistance.
- Using the call bell to request help and waiting for assistance to go to the bathroom safely, to move from bed to chair and/or to get out of bed when this has been requested of you.
- Keeping personal items such as the phone within easy reach.
- Telling your health care team member if you usually need to go to the bathroom often, in a hurry or if you normally go to the bathroom during the night.
- Not leaning on bedside tables, furniture, IV poles and other hospital items as these are often on wheels.
- Wearing your glasses and hearing aids.
- Using your prescribed aid (walker or cane) for walking and moving about your room.
- Using the handrails and grab bars located in each of the rooms if you have not been prescribed an aid.
Families/friends should notify a health care team member if the patient has difficulty with memory or concentration.