Desert Living Tip of the Month: If Falls Persist, Call “Lift and Assist!”

Senior adults are more likely to incur injury and death from falls. Risk factors from aging, appliances, increased clutter and hoarding, and the use of medications increase the risk of a fall and the ability to react. If you or a household member falls and require assistance getting up to a mobile position, the best procedure is to call 911 and let them know you need a “lift assist.”

For people aged 65 and older, falls account for 17% of all 911 calls. And nearly 50% of lift-assist calls result in a second lift-assist call within two weeks. A lift assist call is an opportunity for assessment and intervention to prevent future injury, medical deterioration, and disability in older adults.

Using EMS services for fall-related calls has substantial financial consequences for communities and decreases the availability of EMS to respond to more urgent needs. So it is recommended that you follow the precautions below to reduce future falls.

Ways to Prevent Falls At Home:

  • Install grab bars and tub chairs to make toileting and showering easier and safer.
  • Tuck a cord for a lamp behind a piece of furniture.
  • Turn on more lights as you move through the house.
  • Check with your physician regarding prescription and over-the-counter medications to remedy medication conflicts that might affect your balance and mobility.
  • Clear walkways, add grab bars and wear sturdy shoes or house slippers.
  • Use non-slip rugs, and make sure your carpet does not have bulges.
  • Call our local fire department to conduct smoke alarm installation, fire escape planning, and related home assessments to support fire and fall prevention.
  • Review new mobility limitations and additional medications when you return from the hospital after treatment.
  • Consider a medical alert system with a reputable company for a monthly charge. You can wear a 24/7 monitoring necklace for an emergency at home or outside.