Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is a fall?

People often only classify a fall as such when they find themselves unexpectedly in a prone position on the ground. But slips, trips, missteps, stumbles, and near falls, even if you don’t go all the way down, are just as important to recognize, monitor, and be aware of.

Who is at risk of falls?

Everyone falls from children to older adults. The age group with the highest risk of falling are individuals aged 50-60 years, even more so than older folks simply because they tend to be more active. However, falls become more dangerous with advanced age.

How do I prevent falls?

You can reduce your likelihood of falls by considering these three key tips:

  • Practice awareness of your surroundings and stay focused on moving from point A to point B. Cluttered walkways, unsafe floor and ground cover, and trying to multitask or carry too much can lead to falls.
  • Have your eyesight and hearing checked regularly. Falls commonly occur due to not seeing an obstacle and hearing aids in balance.
  • Keep moving. Due to age-related changes, our bodies are not as nimble. But staying active helps to reduce the impact of these changes. Exercise programs specifically designed to improve balance and retain strength may also help, but always consult a physician before starting a new exercise program.
If I am going down, how do I fall safely?

To minimize the risks of injury, the following steps are recommended:

  • Fight the urge to panic. When people panic, they stiffen up and are more likely to break bones when there is no give to soften the impact.
  • Protect your head. Hitting your head can result in traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions and bleeds. Tuck your chin if falling backwards, and turn your head if falling face first.
  • Try to land where you have some cushion – back, butt, and thighs. This minimizes the risk of bone-related injuries.
  • Try to roll to reduce the impact. Sudden stops or trying to isolate the impact can actually result in more damage.
What do I do after someone else has had a fall?
  • Check for injury prior to helping. Call 911 for serious injuries.
  • Assist the individual in getting up, if possible. Do not try to lift the person as you risk injury to them and yourself.
  • If the person is not able to get up on their own, gather assistance using emergency contacts.
  • Provide reassurance. Falls are not only harmful physically, but also create embarrassment, fear, and uncertainty psychologically.
  • Once the person is helped, gather information about what happened.
  • Report falls appropriately, including to medical professionals, even if there is no injury. Falls may be indicative of more serious problems and once a fall has occurred, they are more likely to reoccur.
What do I do if I have a fall and I am alone?
  • Try to stay calm, take a moment to relax, and check for injury prior to trying to get up.
  • Move slowly to prevent dizziness and roll over onto your side if you can. Try to sit up.
  • Locate the sturdiest surface (e.g., couch, bed, etc.) to aid you in pulling yourself up. You may have to slide, scoot, or crawl. Only do so if you can without sharp pain.
  • If possible, kneel and bare weight on the stronger of your two legs, steadying yourself with the furniture.
  • Turn carefully and sit. Reassess your injuries and contact help if needed.
  • If at any point you cannot make it to the next step, try to reach a communication device, such as a phone, and call for help. While you wait, stay calm and keep yourself warm. Your body may be in shock even if you feel fine.
  • Report falls appropriately, including to medical professionals, even if there is no injury. Falls may be indicative of more serious problems and once a fall has occurred, they are more likely to reoccur.
Why should I talk to someone if I have a fear of falling?

Fear of falling often leads to withdrawal from activity and muscle weakness as a result, which will make a person more fall prone. Tentativeness will make a person less confident and more unstable when they do move. They may also withdrawal from social engagement, leading to loneliness and depression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Regarding the Durable Me Program (Safe Aging’s durable medical equipment give-back)

What are the age requirements to request assistance?

We currently accept applications for clients aged 50 years and older. This is the time at which folks start to become more fall-prone.

What is the income requirement to request assistance?

For a single-earner household, the threshold is less than $1435/month. For a dual-earner household, the threshold is $2113/month. [NOTE: During the current pandemic, we have raised this cap to $2818 through March 2021, recognizing the economic need at this time.] These thresholds are based on federal definitions.

What types of durable medical equipment can be requested?

As the mission of the Safe Aging Coalition of Northern Kentucky is falls prevention, the durable medical equipment we provide access to covers a range of products intended to keep older folks independent in their homes longer. The current list includes: shower chairs or benches; transfer tub benches; handheld shower head extensions; grab bars and installation; raised toilet seats; toilet seat frames; bedside commodes; non-slip tub mats; bed canes or quad canes; rollators; scale; blood pressure monitors; pulse oximeters.

How do I apply?

Applications are completed through the online form, which can be completed by a caregiver. Click here: http://safeagingnky.org/durable-me-application/

What is the deadline for application?

Applications are approved on a rolling basis and are typically reviewed every few days. As a volunteer organization, please understand if this occasionally takes longer. 

How long until I receive my requested item once approved?

Pick-up of the item will need to be arranged. A family member or caregiver is able to pick up.

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