You put your elderly mother or father into a Maryland nursing home not too long ago, and you find yourself worrying daily. Does the facility know how to prevent residents from falling?

To better learn what questions to ask to find out, see what Population Health Learning Network has to say on the matter. Calm your concerns, and better ensure your elderly parent’s safety.

Resident assessment

Whenever a nursing home receives a new resident, she or he should undergo a fall assessment to determine her or his overall risk for falling. Some items and triggers in nursing homes make residents more susceptible to falling, such as mental status, gait and whether a resident walks with something like an IV or a walker.

Fall care plan

Nursing homes also need fall care plans for at-risk residents. Such plans help residents build and maintain their overall level of ambulatory functionality. Plans also commonly include fall minimization intervention methods. For instance, some medications can lead to dizziness and a loss of balance, which puts residents at risk. Changing a prescription or dosage can reduce that risk. Nursing facilities may also need improved lighting to lower incidents of resident trips, slips and falls.

Fall committee

Some nursing homes assemble fall committees tasked with identifying potential fall risk factors and creating fall intervention plans. Depending on the nursing home, there may exist quality improvement activities that track falls according to location, time and cause.

Neither you nor your elderly parent should have to worry about avoidable falls when you admit your mother or father into the care of a nursing home. Be sure to ask about the above fall-prevention methods the next time you contact or stop by the nursing home for a visit.