As an administrator or manager of Direct Support Professionals, here are some tips and examples of management strategies that can help reduce falls in your organization.
Learn much as possible about how falls happen
- Are there times of day when falls are most likely—e.g. toward the end of the day or the end of DSPs’ shifts?
- Are there places in a person’s home, day program, or workplace where falls are most likely—e.g. staircases, curbs?
- Are there activities that seem to be associated with falls?
- What individual characteristics make falls likely?
- What physical characteristics of facilities make falls more or less likely?
Once you have identified basic characteristics of falls for the people you support, here are some examples of strategies that might assist you in developing a Fall Prevention Plan in general and for specific individuals at high risk for falling.
Some Examples of Fall Prevention Leadership Strategies
1. Treating staff as professional equals.
- Accept staff ideas about how best to prevent falls among the individuals that they serve.
2. Get to know your staff and their lives.
- What stresses do they face in their lives?
- Are they tired?
- What could you do to make their lives easier?
3. Avoid a top-down approach to preventing falls.
- The top-down approach fails to take advantage of the fact that staff know the people they serve and, in particular, when they are at high risk of falling.
4. Do not rely exclusively on training or re-training.
- When an adverse event happens, start with the idea that the event may be evidence of an organizational problem.
- Relying on training assumes that falls happen because staff are not trained well enough.
- Ask whether your method for training staff works.
With a Fall Prevention plan developed with DSPs, you will be on your way to reducing and preventing falls with the individuals you support.