This article shows an effort to help prevent falls among older people.
Federal lawmakers should consider changes to Medicare and turn to nursing facilities for expertise when addressing the growing incidence of fall-related injuries in seniors, according to LeadingAge.
The cost of falls among older adults to Medicare alone total $31 billion annually. In a letter, the advocacy group urged members of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging to use the expertise and experience of its members, specifically SNFs, to inform comprehensive, evidence-based fall prevention policies.
For example, the detailed falls risk assessments used to evaluate new residents in nursing facilities are a potential template for adding a risk assessment to Medicares Annual Wellness Visits, proposed Ruth Katz, LeadingAge senior VP-policy. The committee should also consider adding vision care to Medicare coverage, Katz advised. Vision checks are a key component of SNF falls prevention protocol.
Nursing homes, in particular, are rated on falls prevention, and many of the techniques our SNF members have developed to keep residents from falling can be adopted in other settings, Barbara Gay, the groups VP-public policy communications, told McKnights.
LeadingAge developed its recommendations in consultation with its members, home care advocacy group ElevatingHOME, and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America.
The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging is addressing falls prevention in a hearing scheduled for today.