Fall Prevention “NIMBY”
“Not in my backyard” is a term often heard in residential areas from residents who don’t want new development. However, we also feel that, unintentionally, there has been a significant case of NIMBY in the healthcare industry with respect to falls.
What is this all about? Everyone is well intentioned and is doing their jobs in the best interest of their particular stage of a patient’s care. However, despite best efforts in preventing today’s falls, catastrophic falls are still on the rise.
Unless you look at the entire picture and track balance as a vital sign, the patient can be set up for increased future impairment load as they pass from Hospital to Skilled Nursing to PT to Home Care. Dr. Estrada explains this phenomenon well at the 9:25 mark of this video:
Here are the key stages of care where Falls NIMBY can occur.
Fall prevention in the Hospital
The fall prevention program in the hospital may be successful during the stay, but may leave the patient weakened and more prone to falls.
Fall prevention in Skilled Nursing
The fall prevention program in the Skilled Nursing may be successful during the plan of care, but may leave the patient disoriented and unable to complete exercises without assistance.
Fall prevention in Home Health
The fall prevention program in Home Health may be successful during the plan of care, but may increase fear of falling and does not normally lead to long term improvement.
How to Address Falls Prevention NIMBY?
We believe the best way to mitigate this cycle is to treat balance as a vital sign and track it throughout the process. And we need to give older adults what they “want to do” and are willing to commit to, not tell them what they “should do”. Empower them with 10 minute (max) per day dual-tasking exercises that they can do on their own time.
For further information, please contact us.