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Preventing Falls in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes have a duty to recognize residents that are fall risks in order to identify interventions to prevent the resident from falling, and to minimize complications and injuries from falls that do take place.

Residents should be assessed for their risk of falls upon admission, quarterly, annually and with change of condition such as by using a Fall Assessment Form. The resident's score should be used to determine the resident's risk of falling and to assist with development of care plans.

Some interventions that may be used with residents who are at lower risk of falling include:

  • orient resident to their surroundings and assigned staff

  • check lighting is adequate for safe environment

  • non-slip footwear

  • call bell within reach

  • light cord within reach

  • personal care items within reach

  • bed at lowest position and wheels locked

  • room clear of environmental hazards (cords, furniture, etc.)

  • ambulate resident as frequently as appropriate

Residents that are at moderate risk for falling may also be given these interventions:

  • Every two hour comfort and toileting rounds (this may include positioning, offering snacks, ensuring warmth, ambulating, etc.

  • consult with MD or consultant pharmacist (evaluate side effects of medications

  • personal bed or chair alarm

  • seat belt

  • therapy evaluation or re-evaluation

  • other consults

High risk may include these interventions:

  • move resident closer to nursing station as available

  • all other suggested interventions previously not implemented

  • bedside mat on floor

  • more frequent observation· (every 1 hour) for toileting and comfort rounds


  • Personal clip alarm applied/ repositioned

  • Bed alarm added / checked / strip changed ·

  • Seat belt applied (Velcro / Clip)

  • Medications reviewed with physician

  • Physician notified of complaint of weakness / dizziness

  • Low bed

  • Padded mat at bedside

  • Added to toileting schedule

  • Non-skid socks applied

  • Slippers / shoes applied

  • Physical therapy evaluation/ re-evaluation

  • Occupational therapy evaluation / re-evaluation

  • Orthostatic blood pressure check

  • Floor checked for spills

  • Wires, cords, moved from area

  • Eye exam ordered

  • Call bell checked

  • Resident reminded to call for assistance

  • Resident reminded to use walker / wheelchair

  • Walker / Wheelchair repositioned within reach

  • Commode at bedside

If you, a family member or a friend have been injured due to the neglect of others in a New York nursing home, call Leitner Varughese at (855) LV LAW NY (855-585-2969), or visit our website at

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