Patient Safety Awareness Week is from March 12, 2023, to March 15, 2023. This annual recognition event encourages people to learn more about healthcare safety.

Some studies suggest that up to 400,000 people die in the U.S. each year as a result of preventable medical errors. Of course, not every case of harm ends in death. Some of these patients survive but suffer from long-term impacts on their physical and emotional health as well as their financial well-being and personal relationships.

Patient Safety in a Hospice Setting

Patient safety is essential for hospice and palliative care patients as they are some of society’s most vulnerable members. 

Safety is a primary concern as a patient nears the end of their life due to increasing illness, weakness, fatigue, and limited mobility.

One of the main areas of patient safety that hospices focus on is fall prevention.

According to the CDC, falls are common among older Americans. Every second, an adult over 65 falls in this country. This makes falls the leading cause of injury and death in this age group.

Identifying risks and preventing falls in end-of-life care can be more challenging. Here are some tips on how to prevent falls for hospice patients:

  • Clear all trip hazards and clutter on the floor
  • Install a shower chair and raised toilet seat to make bathing easy and safe
  • Install grab bars in bathrooms
  • Install handrails and lights on staircases
  • Make sure all medical equipment is stored out of the way
  • Make sure all medication is clearly marked, especially the ones that cause drowsiness and dizziness
  • Enlist the help of a physical or occupational therapist so your loved one can better gain strength and balance

Hospice Can Help

If your loved one is at risk of falling or it is no longer safe for them to care for themselves alone at home, hospice can help. Hospice can help ensure your home is secure and bring the necessary medications to ensure proper dosing, check up on them throughout the day, and help them with any tasks that have become too challenging for them to complete independently.

Contact us today for more information on our hospice and palliative services.