How do care homes prevent falls?


Preventing falls in care homes 

Preventing falls in care homes is a crucial aspect of providing safe and effective care, especially as your loved one may be about to move into one.

Understanding the risks and the measures in place to mitigate these can offer peace of mind and confidence in the care our experts teams here at Ashberry Care Homes provide your loved ones.

Understanding the Risk

Falls are a significant concern for families with loved ones in care homes. Residents are three times more likely to fall than their counterparts living in the community.

This risk increases with age as over 65s have a one in three chance of falling each year, rising to one in two for those over 85.

About 40% of care home admissions are related to falls, highlighting the urgency of effective fall prevention measures.

With around 400,000 older individuals in UK care homes, many of whom have complex health needs such as frailty and dementia, the risk of falls is a critical issue that needs continuous attention.

Whole System Approach to Fall Prevention

The Falls in Care Home (FinCH) study emphasises the importance of a whole system approach to preventing falls. This approach goes beyond just focusing on the individual; it includes the environment they live in and the working patterns of the care home staff.

The study found that having a designated ‘Falls Champion’ within the care home staff can lead to significant improvements in implementing fall prevention practices effectively.

The ACTiON FALLs Programme

The ACTiON FALLs programme is instrumental in assessing risk and implementing preventative measures.

It’s a comprehensive strategy that requires ongoing review and prioritisation of fall management to be truly effective.

This continuous approach ensures that fall prevention adapts to changing circumstances and needs.

Here at Ashberry Care Homes, all of our care home staff are trained in fall prevention techniques overseen by our care home managers and team leaders. 

Preventative Measures in Place

We understand that falls and their effects are one of the biggest concerns for our residents and their families. Therefore, our care homes are actively implementing several measures to prevent falls, including:

  • Environmental Adjustments: Our maintenance teams regularly inspect our homes and ensure they are as fall safe as possible by Installing extra handrails, improving lighting, and making necessary adjustments to reduce trip hazards.
  • Staff Education: We encourage all of our qualified staff to adopt a falls prevention mindset, including understanding and mitigating risks.
  • Personalised Care Plans: Using tools like the ACTiON FALLs programme, our teams assess individual risk factors and tailor care plans accordingly for each resident under our care.
  • Engagement and Exercise: Our activity coordinators devise programmes that promote activities and exercises that enhance physical strength and balance, reducing the risk of falls.
  • Medication Reviews: Our clinical leads ensure that medication side effects that may increase fall risk are carefully managed for our residents.

What we do here at Ashberry Care Homes

We have developed a Falls protocol which we have amended over a period of time from learning within our homes and how we train our team members to monitor residents following a fall to maintain their safety and the correct response.

Along with the protocol we have developed a training programme which is currently been rolled out throughout our homes, to continue to keep us up to date.

We are also trailing the ISTUMBLE ® app – to further educate our team members we are trailing the app in one of our residential homes currently.

Winncare and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust developed ISTUMBLE®, an app and algorithm, to guide care home staff on handling falls. 

The algorithm provides care home staff with clear instructions on when to call for an ambulance or use aids and manual handling to lift residents from the floor. 

An nationally recognised tool, the ISTUMBLE ® app has had over 140,000 downloads and is accredited by Orcha for use within the NHS. Importantly, the algorithm has been demonstrated to reduce the length of time that residents are on the floor.

Focusing on Dementia Patients

As a specialist provider of dementia care, our dementia patients present unique challenges when it comes to fall prevention.

Therefore we work collaboratively with families, the residents and other organisations to maintain open communication about falls, monitor and analyse fall patterns, and involve families in risk management strategies.

We also provide specialised training for our staff, focusing on the needs of dementia patients, which can make a significant difference in preventing falls.

Risk Assessment

Assessing the risk of falls is a critical step in prevention. Tools like the Falls Risk Assessment in the Elderly (FRASE) help identify any of our residents that are at higher risk of falls, allowing for focused prevention efforts.

Our team collects and analyses data on falls within the care home which helps in identifying patterns and allows us to agree on and implement new targeted strategies.

Caring for Those Who Have Fallen

After any falls, we give comprehensive care to your loved one and hold a full review of our prevention strategies.

This includes reassessing your loved one’s care plan, environment, and any contributing factors to prevent future incidents.

Preventing falls in our care homes is a challenge that requires a dedicated and continuous approach.

By understanding the risks, implementing effective prevention strategies, and engaging in ongoing risk assessment and care plan adjustments, our team can significantly reduce the incidence and impact of falls.

This not only ensures the physical safety of our residents but also supports their independence and quality of life.

With the right measures in place, falls in any of our care homes can be substantially mitigated, providing peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.

Published On: 25 February 2024 | By |