Following a Fall
A fall can be over in just seconds. Getting back on your feet can take time and teamwork.
One SCAN member knows this all too well. Bob was at home, making his way to the restroom, when suddenly he felt dizzy, passed out and fell. The fall left him bumped, bruised and in the hospital.
Fortunately, there were no breaks and no serious injuries to his head, neck or brain. But he was unable to move around on his own or care for himself once he came home from the nursing facility. That’s when his doctors, his family and SCAN came together to give Bob the support he needed to get back on his feet.
Strength in Teamwork
On the day Bob came home, a SCAN Peer Advocate called to check on him and explain benefits in his SCAN plan that could help with his recovery.
- Personal Emergency Response System (PERS): Both Bob and his wife, also a SCAN member, now have a PERS. This will make it easy to call for help in an emergency.
- Over-the-Counter (OTC): Bob ordered a softer cushion from the SCAN OTC catalog that helps him sit more comfortably.
- Respite Care: His SCAN plan includes a Respite Care benefit that provides services to support the caregiver to a SCAN member. The 40 hours of in-home care Bob received took the burden off his wife.
His doctors and medical group provided support, too—from follow-up care to durable medical equipment (DME). Bob is grateful for the walker that gives him some independence at home.
For information on the benefits mentioned here, visit scanhealthplan.com/extras. To find out if your SCAN plan includes these benefits, check your Evidence of Coverage or call Member Services.
You Might Not See a Fall Coming
Not all falls are caused by a throw rug, an electrical cord or a slippery floor. So, when you’re thinking about ways to reduce your fall risk, pay attention to less obvious hazards, like the ones below.
Vision issues: Many older adults have changes in their vision that can make it hard to see obstacles on the ground or a slight step up or down.
- Wear glasses or contacts in an up-to-date prescription (if you need them).
- Haven’t had your exam with a vision provider this year yet? Schedule one now.
- If you have blurriness or any other vision problems, see a doctor right away.
Foot problems: Avoid fall-producing missteps by taking care of your feet.
- Wear shoes that fit well and don’t rub, pinch or otherwise hurt.
- Keep your feet clean and toenails trimmed.
- Don’t ignore cuts, sores or bruises. This is especially important if you have diabetes.
Medications: Many medications have side effects that can cause a fall—drowsiness, dizziness and low blood pressure among them.
- At least once a year review with your doctor all the medicines and supplements you take. Do it also any time you start a new medication or experience side effects from a drug.
Reduced physical fitness: Most people tend to become less active with age. This can make moving more difficult.
- Try to be active every day. Even a small bit of regular activity can help make your muscles stronger, joints more limber and a fall less likely.
- Make use of your SilverSneakers benefit, which offers gym memberships and online workouts. And sign up for Rally, our online fitness program, for support, motivation and challenges.
Other health issues: Underlying conditions can create other problems that could lead to a fall.
- Listen to your body and don’t ignore warning signs that something might be amiss. If you postponed a regular check-up with your doctor due to COVID-19, call your doctor’s office to schedule it now.