Fall Prevention Initiative

Posted by Cristi Twenter on 08/30/2019

I had the pleasure of spending the last week at the 2019 Meals on Wheels of America’s annual conference. Nearly 1,000 attendees spent 3 days learning, sharing & growing together.  Programs from large cities like Los Angeles, Chicago & New York and tiny townships from Missouri, Ohio and Utah all benefited from hearing about the challenges and victories we all face as programs that are coming together to fight senior hunger and isolation in the United States.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of the key highlights that Edmond Mobile Meals can implement to better serve our homebound seniors in Edmond.

As our clients age in their homes, the single biggest threat they face is falling. Every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the United States. The average cost of medical care for a fall is over $30,000 per incident. Falls lead to lengthy hospital stays, rehabilitation and the fear of falling again. Those seniors who are malnourished and socially isolated are at a greater risk of falling. Edmond Mobile Meals endeavors to help prevent falls in our clients’ homes. We can assess their home environment for external obstacles such as; loose throw rugs, slippery surfaces and poor lighting.  We can apply for grant funding to support a home safety program that would allow us to install grab bars, rails and other fall-prevention tools. We can use risk-assessment tools from the CDC and the National Center on Aging. We can also assist with internal obstacles of malnutrition and isolation by providing protein-rich meals and snack options and developing a friendly visitor program to combat loneliness. We can add to our toolkit of services that provide more than a meal to our homebound seniors in Edmond. I look forward to working with our board of directors, local community partners and volunteers to help develop a home safety and fall prevention service through Edmond Mobile Meals in the coming year.

For resources and tips on how to prevent falls in the home, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/index.html