Falls among the elderly population are associated with decreased mobility and degeneration of psychological and physical functioning, excess medical costs, increased mortality and an increased risk of further falls. As the aging population continues to grow, so does the impact of falls as a serious medical issue. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s emergency department reported 770 fall-related trauma cases between January and November 2018. Senior citizens accounted for 68% of those cases.
To address this critical issue, JHMC’s trauma division gathered data from its registry to pinpoint areas with the highest concentration of falls. Using that information, the injury prevention coordinator reached out to program directors at local senior centers to schedule workshops to educate seniors on strategies to avoid falls. The workshops covered everything from identifying fall risk factors to home safety strategies and resources available to seniors, such as exercise programs. Using CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries falls risk self-assessment survey, JHMC identified seniors at moderate to high risk of falling. This enabled the injury prevention coordinator to make recommendations and encourage seniors to speak with their physicians about better managing their risk of falling.
The newly fostered relationship with senior centers has given JHMC the opportunity to consistently follow up with its senior citizen population and develop a more meaningful connection within the community. In total, 20 senior centers were visited and more than 700 seniors were reached in September and October.
For more information, contact Alexander Ariza, injury prevention coordinator, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, at (718) 206-7168 or at email@example.com.