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Floor-to-ceiling safety

Help falls into place for seniors

Created date

June 18th, 2010
Fall risk

June may be Home Safety Month, but ' one team of experts has been keeping ' residents ' safe year-round. To help the 20,000 people who live in its communities stay on their feet, Erickson has developed Fall Intervention Teams (FIT) at its 19 campuses nationwide. An interdisciplinary program, FIT began in 2007 and invites information sharing among subject matter experts from various departments at each community: custom interiors, security, the medical center, administration, fitness center, social work, rehabilitation services, and ancillary health, says Erickson s Senior Director of Operations Jeff Watson, who heads up the FIT program. Together, they can come up with best practices and recommendations for maintaining wellness from carpet ' selections (patterns can be a risk factor) to light bulbs (in some locations, filters are installed to minimize glare). With these built-in resources, residents at Erickson-managed communities know where to turn if they are concerned about falling. ' The FIT task force ' offers a ten-week balance class, self-assessment questionnaire, and quarterly Falls Education Forum on each campus. The response has been tremendous, and interest continues to grow. Watson reports that in a two-year period, more than 1,000 Erickson residents completed the balance class; more than 8,000 took the self-referral questionnaire; and more than 12,000 attended the Falls Education Forum.