Suzy Begay

Suzy Begay was worried. She had 2 falls this past week getting off the toilet and walking back to her room. What was she going to do?

Thankfully, the OT shared previous successes using the above safety sign. “I know I need to do better but I’m tired of waiting for help walking”. Motivational interviewing and stories of medical “bone fractures” increased her safety awareness. Suzy knew she was impulsive. She got excited when she got to pick out the colors for her wall sign. Being Native American, those colors had cultural significance to her Navajo tribe. She also wanted to highlight in yellow the word “wait” and chose to place it directly across from the toilet.  Speech therapy trained the nursing and rehab staff with space retrieval (SRT), a memory technique. “Suzy, what’s the next step after toileting?” Physical and occupational therapy made sure she was wearing supportive shoes with custom elastic laces and using her walker per CDC STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) Protocol. The resident care manager (RCM) updated the nursing care plan.  Yeah! No falls the next week!

Here is a link to learn more about space retrieval as a memory technique with dementia clients:

 Medicare/CMS-including bundled payment programs, accountable care organizations (ACOs), Medicare Advantage plans and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have a new emphasis on value-based health care. Good outcomes with senior fall prevention is key to avoiding hospital re-admissions. The evidenced-based research is plentiful on the STEADI Algorithm. It is fun and easy to use and is cost effective! See the below link:

STEADI coordinates well with the goals of value-based health care, better rehab outcomes, and decrease medical costs. Therefore, the quadruple aim is achieved. It has a multitude of evidenced based research. I’ve used STEADI successfully for 15 years. It is fun and easy to use!

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EXCITING TIMES!  October 2019 U.S. Senate Committee on Aging report:

  • How is your state doing, see page 10?
  • Upper State New York did a STEADI- based program and reduced hospitalizations due to falls by 40%! See pages 20-21
  • Examine how Epic EHR integrated STEADI. See how innovative programs in different states decreased senior falls with home environment safety changes, effective community balance programs, and medication recommendations

I provide Fall Prevention Classes to MDs, Medical Professionals, Insurance Companies and Senior Communities. Let’s decrease re-hospitalizations!

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