Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living – Tip #13

Frequently upon a nursing home admission, the completion of a Fall Risk Assessment is performed on your loved one.  Many versions of fall risk assessment forms have been created to be utilized by nursing homes.  These generalized assessment forms are designed to prevent falls by identifying risk factors and potential causes demonstrated by your loved one.  Information contained within these forms frequently include instructions to complete the form, risk factors assessed in different general clinical conditions and areas, a means to score each area based on each relative risk factor, the completion date and the total degree of risk based on the score in each area.  General clinical conditions may refer to the medical, physical and psychological status and/or environmental factors which may place your loved one at risk. Examples of the Fall Risk Assessment tool may even be Googled on-line.  A family member or friend, if present during the assessment, may be able to provide the staff with valuable information, especially if the resident is unable to answer questions and the family member is familiar with potential risk factors.  Accurate assessment is a key to identification of these risk factors and interventions may then be initiated to meet the needs and help prevent falls from occurring.