Each year, millions of people 65 and older experience a fall. Falling just one time doubles your chances of falling again in the future. Most commonly falls result in bumps and bruises, but they may also cause cuts, broken bones and hips, or even a brain injury. Pattonville Fire District is proud to announce our new fall prevention program that will hopefully decrease the frequency of falls among the residents of our community.
If you are concerned about falling you can schedule an in-home visit with one of our paramedic/firefighters to evaluate your fall risk profile. During our visit we will discuss the things that you can do yourself to prevent a fall such as talking to your doctor to evaluate your individual fall risks; doing strength and balance exercises; having your eyes checked and getting glasses or contacts if necessary; and making your home an overall safer environment. We will also address some of the obstacles that we as firefighter / paramedics face when we respond to those who have suffered a fall. These obstacles fall into the categories of notification, access, and information.
Notification: In order for us to respond to help you off of the floor or take you to the hospital, we first need to know that you have fallen. Do you keep a phone with you all the time, or do you have a medical alert device?
Access: Often times those who have fallen are unable to unlock the door to their home when help arrives. This means that firefighter / paramedics must force the door open to gain entry into the home, which typically results in some minor property damage. We sell a secure residential key box that we will install for you. This secure box allows a key to be safely stored on the exterior of your home so that we can gain access inside quickly and easily without causing any damage. Secure key boxes can be purchased from the Pattonville Fire District for the same price that they are sold to us, $35.
Information: After suffering a fall there is a significant possibility that you may be confused, or that your loved ones will be upset and unable to provide the information that we need to properly care for you. During our in-home visit we will give you a File of Life - a small pamphlet containing important information about your medical history. Both our firefighter / paramedics and the hospital need this information so that we can best care for your individual health needs. The File of Life also contains the name and phone number of your emergency contact person whom we will notify if you are taken to the hospital in the ambulance. We will assist you in filling out the File of Life during the in-home visit if you so desire.
We hope that our new fall prevention program will help keep you safe! Our goal is to prevent you from ever suffering a fall while also ensuring that you are properly prepared should one occur. If you would like to schedule an in-home visit, please call Pattonville Fire District Headquarters at (314) 739-3118.