Are you aware that the Vermont Department of Health has recognized Bennington County as having the highest fall rate by adults age 60 and above? Did you know that Vermont Emergency Medical Technicians are being asked to take proactive part in improving this statistic through a new multimedia program known as FALLSCAPE™? Falls are NOT an inevitable part of growing older. There is now a solution. We are asking for your agency to help by taking part in this new program. There is no cost to you; and a healthier Bennington community is the result we are hoping to achieve.
The FALLSCAPE™ program is a patent-pending approach developed with research supported by the National Institutes of Health. The unique multi-media falls prevention program helps reduce falls through a personal approach. The Vermont Department of Health is the first to offer this program state-wide. You should know that FALLSCAPE™ meets the Administration of Aging’s highest level of criteria for evidence-based health promotion programs.
FALLSCAPE™ uses multimedia vignettes in one-on-one guided sessions to help the client discover their own “fall threats”. This increased awareness translates into successful fall prevention in real life situations. In clinical trials, participants who completed the FALLSCAPE™ multimedia program improved their recognition of personal circumstances that may cause them to fall; increased their fall prevention behaviors; and most importantly….they successfully PREVENTED FALLS!
We need your participation to succeed in making Bennington County a safer place for our aging population. We are asking you to partner with us in this program. We would love to come and educate your staff or residents about this program. Once a person is selected for the program; a volunteer will work one-on-one either at the client’s home or other convenient location. Our goal is to help each client find their own unique way to prevent falls in their individualized situations. Please call or email our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for us to visit your organization.
Elaina Noblet, AEMT, MS
Bennington FALLSCAPE™ Director
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Starting June of 2015 the Vermont Department of Health in partnership with the National Council on Aging is participating in a grant program on reducing falls in Vermont funded through the National Administration on Community Living. The program looks to identify risk factors and assist those in the community with steps to reduce fall risk.
Local participating Emergency Medical Services, such as Bennington Rescue Squad, are collecting and utilizing data to provide a client centric evidence-based information to high risk population.
The FALLSCAPE™ program was chosen from a number of evidence-based fall prevention programs. The program addresses readiness for change, empowerment, autonomy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness approach, fall and near-fall history, perspective fall situations, life style and disability questions, and deliver personal multimedia education occurring immediately after a fall to identify any threats or hazards.
Initially a screening is performed by a technician to determine eligibility. Then the technician performs an initial interview with the client. During the initial interview the technician assists each client to identify risk factors and analyzing any previous or near falls history, which is extremely important.
Parts of the analysis include:
- Medications taken;
- Accessibility in the home;
- Basic needs (such as food and clothing), and;
- Review of life changes.
A multi-media presentation is distributed via computer with the technician to the client identifying risk factors. Once this presentation is completed, an evaluation is performed by the research technician utilizing weekly or bi-weekly phone interviews. Completion of the program is individual based, but a successful completion results when the client reduces falls and feels safe.
The program is completely voluntary and at no-cost to the client with each client in charge of their own decisions. Any participant can opt-out at any time.
GOALS OF THE PROGRAM
- Complete 500 unduplicated adults 50 years old or older;
- Decrease the number of repeat falls in Vermont by 10%;
- Secure a sustainable funding mechanism.
According to the Centers for Disease (CDC), falls among the elderly are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal unintentional injuries in the United States. Vermont fall rates exceed the national averages in several critical areas. In 2010, one hundred twenty (120) Vermonters ages 65 and older died as a result of a fall. In 2009 more than 1,600 older Vermont adults were hospitalized and an additional 5,023 were admitted to an Emergency Department due to falls. In 2013 Emergency Medical Services data showed there were 997 “lift assists”, where a client called 9-1-1 because of a fall, but did not have an injury and not transported. This fills the gap of falls not reported to primary care givers. Here in Bennington County the greatest number of falls are found in all of Vermont.
Who can refer a patient? Any medical professional including visiting nurses, a friend, clients’ physicians, United council services, any member of Emergency Medical Services, Department of Aging and Disability, Support and services at home (SASH). Additionally friends, family, and the client themselves can contact the program for a referral.
HOW TO CONTACT
Director of Falls Prevention Program
Bennington Rescue Squad Inc.
120 McKinley Street
(802) 442-5817 ext 122