CHICAGO, June 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Every 15 seconds across America, a senior citizen is sent to the E.R. for a fall-related injury. In fact, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65 and over. With National Safety Month kicking off June 1, BrightStar Care, a full-service home care agency that provides both medical and non-medical care to patients from infants to elders, shares tips on keeping aging loved ones safe and independent at home.
"The chances of falling and being seriously injured during that fall significantly increase with age," said Sharon RothMcGuire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, Senior Vice President of Quality & Clinical Operations for BrightStar Care. "Identifying risk factors with your aging loved ones and taking precautionary measures will increase their longevity and provide peace of mind to families."
Below are tips from BrightStar Care on how older adults can decrease the likelihood of falls and remain independent in their homes.
- Perform regular exercise—If a senior has fallen previously, they may develop a fear of falling that limits their physical activity. Therefore, senior citizens should focus on staying active and, if possible, doing exercises that increase leg strength and improve balance—which constantly challenge different muscle groups.
- Medication review—Remind your loved one to take their medication or enlist a licensed agency to help with medication management. Pill reminder boxes can also assist seniors with medication dispensing. Be sure to ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medications – both prescriptions and over-the-counter – to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions. Be particularly observant when a new medication is added or an existing medication is increased as this may increase fall risk.
- Identify potential physical limitations—If your loved one is weak, tired or ill, help them get out of bed to go to the bathroom and walk around or enlist a licensed agency to provide them with this support in getting around. Encourage adequate intake of food and fluids to maintain protein stores and prevent dehydration.
- Complete a home safety check—Decrease fall risk by removing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving lighting throughout the home.
"Although complete prevention of falls is difficult, identifying risk factors and using the checklist above will allow potential hazards to be evaluated and therefore avoided," RothMcGuire added. "Education on fall prevention should be an important part of every senior's plan for maintaining their health, safety, independence and quality of life."
While fulfilling the demand of in-home care for the nation's growing aging population continues to be a focus of service for BrightStar Care, the company has carved a niche with the ability to offer the full continuum of care in the home, including companionship services for seniors and skilled medical care for just about any need imaginable. As the only national brand to pursue Joint Commission accreditation at each location, BrightStar locations nationwide are committed to meeting National Patient Safety Goals around fall prevention. As part of BrightStar's unique approach to reducing the likelihood of clients experiencing a fall, a Registered Nurse performs an evaluation of fall risk during initial and subsequent health assessments for every client. Proactive measures to address fall risk are then incorporated into individualized plans of care to promote safety in addition to addressing the specific care needs of each client.
A video accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=19097
For more information on fall prevention, visit BrightStar Care's "Focus on Falls" page. To find helpful tips, videos, blog articles and downloads geared toward helping families to mobilize around fall prevention, please see the Elderly Fall Resource Center.
About BrightStar Care
Based in Chicago, BrightStar Care is a national franchise with more than 250 locations that provide full-service staffing of medical and non-medical homecare to private clients from children to older adults within their homes, as well as supplemental staffing to healthcare organizations and corporate clients. Each of BrightStar's locations voluntarily pursue Joint Commission accreditation, a nationally recognized measure of quality that is recognized throughout the healthcare industry. BrightStar Care's well-qualified, attentive caregivers provide peace of mind to clients and their families, providing a customized care plan to match clients with qualified, pre-screened caregivers that best suit their needs. BrightStar Care is one of the few home care providers that offer both medical and non-medical homecare, available to all clients 24/7. BrightStar uses the nationally known patient satisfaction survey company Press Ganey to measure client satisfaction and is proud that 9 out of 10 clients would recommend us to a friend.
CONTACT: Media Contact: Julianne Kennelly, Fishman Public Relations 847-945-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: BrightStar Care