Telling Your Doctor/Primary Provider When You Fall

Welcome to the first monthly Education Journal provided by Harmony designed just for you!

As you have learned, Harmony’s 5-Point Assessment Fall Prevention Program produces an individualized itinerary for you and your primary provider to address and reduce your risks for falls, increasing your function and independence.   

When you entered Harmony’s website,   you read several statistics about falls experienced among people 65 and older,  such as annual frequency of falls,  emergency admissions due to falls,   and severity of  injuries due to falls.    While these statistics are known,  Harmony’s purposes are to:

  • celebrate, promote and increase your health, wellness and function, maintaining your independence; 
  • raise your awareness of the importance to identify and treat your fall risk factors with your healthcare provider, thus reducing your risk of falling;  and,
  • stimulate your participation in a variety of activities to prevent falls as well ready yourself if and when you experience a fall. 

This educational journal compliments  Harmony’s program by offering you an online learning community.  I am just delighted to launch this education journal with you.   You may have read my bio; but  most importantly,  I want you to know that I am a nurse – a rehabilitation nurse.   I ran fall prevention clinics for years in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and have  dedicated my professional career to promoting health, function and independence by reducing risks falls and fall injuries among the elderly and disabled.    I am honored to be a member of the Harmony Team to serve you as an educational resource through this online community. 

Together,  we will cover important topics:   Know Your Fall Fisk Factors;  Safe Footwear;  Are You taking Blood Thinners?  What to do if you Fall;  Anticipate and Plan for the Fall: How to Recover;  Home Safety Checklists;   Exercise for Life; Turn the Fall into a Learning Opportunity;   and more…. 

So let’s get started with today: 

Telling Your Doctor / Primary Provider When You Fall. 

I want to emphasize how important it is for you to tell your health care provider  when you experience a fall.   Did you know that less than half of older people who fall tell their doctor/primary provider (Stevens, et al, 2012)?   Congratulations if you are among  those  who tell your doctor!    But if you’re among those  who don’t,   please know how important it is for you to tell your doctor.    A fall can be a red flag for a medical condition,  when assessed,  can be treated and eliminated.   A fall,  even if you almost fall,  provides your primary provider with important information about your health needs.    You know, many fall risk factors are modifiable.    When  you are open and transparent with your primary provider,   your provider can help you.  When your fall risk factors are reduced,  your function is improved and your independence maintained! 

Please share with us your experiences and / or concerns about telling your doctor/provider about your falls.    Everyone looks forward to learning from and with you. 

Thank you for participating in this community of learning,  

Dr. Pat

Reference:

Stevens JA, Ballesteros MF, Mack KA, Rudd RA, DeCaro E, Adler G. Gender differences in seeking care for falls in the aged Medicare Population. Am J Prev Med 2012;43:59–62.

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