Ohio program focuses on fall prevention for elderly patients

Lakewood EMS’ STEADI initiative aims to reduce the number of calls related to senior citizen falls


By EMS1 Staff

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — A new Lakewood EMS program designed to reduce 911 call volume is focused on fall prevention for senior citizens.

Last year, the agency responded to more than 650 calls from elderly patients who had fallen in their home, many of which were repeat callers, Clevaland.com reported. The creation of the agency’s neighborhood paramedic program, STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries) is expected to reduce first responder costs.

“The neighborhood paramedic will go out and do an audit of the senior’s home looking for proper handrails, poor lighting, obstacles, trip hazards and stair conditions,” Mayor Meghan George said. “The goal is to prevent falls from happening in the future.”

To fund the program, the city is using a $70,000 Healthy Lakewood Foundation grant, which covers the funds required to start the initiative, as well as purchase a vehicle for medics to use.

In the future, the program may be expanded to include other preventative measures, such as glucose screenings, safety checks for new and expectant parents, in-home vaccinations and emergency preparedness information.

“The neighborhood paramedic program model has been proven to have impressive impact in other communities,” Lakewood Fire Chief Tim Dunphy said in a press release. “We’ve taken insights from others and tailored our program to fit Lakewood’s unique needs.

“We’re all excited to launch this program and believe it will make a major difference in helping with preventative care.”

 

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