The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control recommends that nursing homes and other healthcare providers that deal with older individuals follow the STEADI initiative, which stands for “Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries.” By adopting these guidelines, healthcare providers can substantially decrease the risk of older individuals falling and suffering serious injuries.
STEADI focuses on older Americans, or those who are aged 65 and older. Since over 10,000 people in the U.S. turn 65 each day, this is not an insignificant or isolated problem. Rather, at this high rate of growth for this demographic, the incidence of falls is likely to continue to claim, thus resulting in a greater number of serious injuries and high costs to treat fall-related injuries. The STEADI initiative recommends that healthcare providers identify and classify patients who are at high, moderate, and low risks of a fall, identify factors contributing to falls that can be modified, and offer effective interventions for those older individuals at risk.
STEADI includes an algorithm specifically designed to assess the risk of falls and the need for intervention with respect to a patient. Part of this assessment includes a medication review, which helps determine if the individual is medicated in such a manner that he or she is at a greater risk of falls. Finally, STEADI recommends that clinicians assess the level of Vitamin D in each patient, as a lack of this vitamin can adversely affect bone, muscle, and nerve health.
The STEADI initiative reminds healthcare providers that some situations that create increased risk factors for older Americans falling are easily modified. For instance, exercises to improve strength, gait, and balance all can help these individuals avoid the serious injuries that often result from falls. Likewise, proper vision correction and appropriate footwear, both of which are easy to change, can be very important to preventing falls.
The Wisconsin long-term care abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan know how to protect your loved ones’ rights. Our law firm handles these cases on a regular basis and is experienced in advocating on behalf of clients just like you. We are here to help you fight back against the healthcare facility that caused harm to your loved one, and to get any compensation to which you are entitled.