My Mother has been very weak and unsteady on her feet lately and now she is in the hospital. On top she is almost blind. What can I expect to happen to prevent her from falling and what should I do to ensure that she receives proper attention to help her eating, etc.....?
Posted: 14 Mar 2006 08:46 AM Originally Posted: 10 Mar 2006 03:47 PM
Thank you for your concern and care for your mother as she anticipates a hospital stay. Because most of the nation's hospitals are engaged in preventing falls through their patient safety programs, you should expect your mother to have the following provided to her:
A falls risk assessment upon admission to the hospital
This initial assessment will determine if a physical therapist is needed to help your mother with her unsteady gait, and put into place a plan to ensure your mother receives the assistance she needs when getting in and out of bed, walking to the washroom, or about the unit.
And most importantly, you should expect to see your mother reassessed throughout her entire hospital stay on a routine basis (say every 12 hours) as her medication or treatment regime may change and have an impact on how much assistance she needs while remaining in the hospital.
Upon admission you can also expect that an assessment will be done to determine what assistance your mother needs with eating and other care as a result of her vision impairment. It will be very important for you to speak frankly with the physicians and nurses caring for your mother, so that they are fully aware of all of her needs and potential safety concerns. If at all possible it will be very helpful to have a family member or friend present as much as possible during this hospital visit . Health care today is very complex with many different people involved and having an advocate with you will be the best way you can ensure your mother has a safe and productive hospital stay.
Ellen Siegel, MS, RN Senior Clinical Quality Improvement Analsyt