The Prevention Of Falls At McLean Care

The Prevention Of Falls At McLean Care

McLean Care Ltd is named after Hector Neil McLean, an Inverell businessman of proud Scottish heritage, who made provision in his will for the establishment of a convalescent home, with the donation of his farm at Inverell and a sum of money. The McLean Care organisation has grown from these beginnings to be one of the largest aged care, community and disability service providers in New England and North West NSW. The Argyll Centre is part of the McLean Care 160 bed residential care complex located in Inverell NSW and provides specialist care to 81 high care residents.

The importance of a proactive, risk based approach in the provision and maintenance of resident's quality of life is being recognised throughout the aged care industry. With this in mind, McLean Care Argyll Centre has designed the multidisciplinary falls program which includes the medical officers, pharmacist, physiotherapist, registered nurses and care providers to specifically focus on the prevention aspect for each resident and secondly reduce the occurrence of falls and consequential injuries in order to provide a safe environment for all residents.

The initial approach is to gather as much information on the residents' history, looking at falls and frequency, medications and clinical history. Residents are screened for falls and risk assessed as part of the physiotherapist assessment on admission. Using a holistic approach both tailor made as well as general safety measures and interventions for falls prevention are developed and implemented for each resident.

It has been recognised that low impact exercise can provide, not only general health benefits for the elderly, but also by providing an accent on balance and strength assist in reducing falls. The physiotherapist oversees the leisure and lifestyle exercise program, which is provided for residents. The focus of the program is to improve the balance and strength of residents in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Argyll Centre has a fully equipped gymnasium within the facility. The gym is run by the physiotherapy department, who provide group and individual exercise programs for residents. Many residents participate in the daily walks program and there is a range of movement passive exercise regimes available.

The correct method for manual handling is important for the safety and welfare of both residents and staff. Manual handling training and education is provided to newly employed personnel as part of their induction and orientation to the facility. The Physiotherapy aides provide education sessions on a weekly basis, which are available for all staff. Mandatory manual handling is scheduled for all staff annually.

At McLean Care resident falls are systematically registered when they occur using the fall incident reporting system. Falls are then analysed in great detail and the information gathered is used to identify systemic issues, risks and trends in falls. Specific information on falls is reviewed against multiple dimensions such as location, times, days, resident risk ratings and assessments, injuries, use of restraints, rosters and work load. Solutions are trialled in particular areas and have ranged from changes in risk assessment tools, the introduction of new protective equipment, new beds and changes to rosters. Resident specific interventions are also introduced such as reviews by the physiotherapist, pharmacist and medical officers.

The benefits of the falls prevention program at McLean Care are evident in the result of the falls occurring in both the general and dementia units. The exercise component of the program not only reduces the frequency and severity of falls and related injuries for residents it optimises their activity levels and quality of life.

The Argyll Centre has been with QPS Benchmarking since the 01/07/2010 and have utilised the benchmarking process to identify opportunities to provide a better resident lifestyle. The Inter Disciplinary Falls Prevention Program is providing benefits for residents as demonstrated by the falls trend data over time and is an excellent example of proactive management within aged care.