|St. Rita's celebrates National Falls Prevention Awareness Week|
|Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:16 AM|
LIMA — St. Rita’s Medical Center is proud to announce its celebration and observance of National Falls Prevention Awareness Week, Monday-Friday. Falls Prevention Awareness week is being observed as a way to educate St. Rita’s patients as well as the community that, while the risks of falling may increase as we grow older, falling is not a normal part of the aging process and can be prevented. The theme for 2013 is “Preventing Falls, One Step at a Time” and St. Rita’s is encouraging health care providers to screen older patients for their risk of falling.
“According to the Ohio Department of Health, falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization and death among Ohioans age 65 and older,” said Cindy Mefferd, Chief Quality Officer and Patient Safety Officer at St. Rita’s. “The good news is that falls are largely preventable.”
“Health care providers can reduce their patients’ chances of falling and suffering serious injuries like hip fractures and traumatic brain damage,” Mefferd continued. “Research shows that assessing and addressing an individual’s fall risk factors, in addition to identifying and treating symptoms of chronic conditions, can reduce falls.”
In observance of the National Falls Prevention Awareness initiative, St. Rita’s will promote falls prevention in the community by hosting an awareness event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday in the lobby near the café. This event is open to the public. Proper use of canes and other assistive devices will be demonstrated, as well as balance exercises. Pharmacy personnel will be on hand to explain how various medications can contribute to fall risk. Falls prevention strategies used within the medical center will be showcases and there will even be a “grimy glasses” cleanup station since clear vision is important in preventing falls. A traveling display will make its way around St. Rita’s Urgent Care centers throughout the week. St. Rita’s Professional Services will join in the effort by promoting falls awareness in their physicians’ offices throughout the week. Dr. Jacinta Eickholt will be spotlighted on WLIO’s “Medical Moment” on Monday. Dr. Eickholt holds a Geriatric Medicine Fellowship from St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital and is currently a family physician and geriatrician at Klass Family Medicine in Ottawa.