By: Mary Borges, Senior Fall Program Manager, Washington State Department of Health
Make STEADI Part of Your Medical Practice
Falls are not an inevitable part of aging. There are specific things that you, as their health care provider, can do to reduce their chances of falling. STEADI’s tools and educational materials will help you to:
Identify patients at low, moderate, and high risk for a fall;
Identify modifiable risk factors; and
Offer effective interventions.
3 Questions to Ask Your Older Adult Patients
When you see patients 65 and older, make these three questions a routine part of your exam:
Have you fallen in the past year?
Do you feel unsteady when standing or walking?
Do you worry about falling?
If your patient answers “yes” to any of these key screening questions, they are considered at increased risk of falling. Further assessment is recommended.
STEADI Phase One includes 3 steps that you can complete in one visit:
ASK patients if they’ve fallen in the past year, feel unsteady, or worry about falling.
REVIEW medications and stop, switch, or reduce the dosage of drugs that increase fall risk.
RECOMMEND vitamin D supplements of at least 800 IU/day with calcium.
STEADI Online Training
CDC launched the STEADI Older Adult Fall Prevention Online Training for Providers at the White House Conference on Aging on July 13. The one-hour training focuses on the STEADI guidelines, making fall prevention part of clinical practice, and how to screen patients 65+ for falls, identify risk factors, and offer interventions. The training can be accessed through CDC TRAIN: http://www.cdc.gov/steadi/. Continuing Education credits are available.