Older adults require management of multiple simultaneous conditions in a manner that protects their ability to function safely. The widespread incorporation of fall risk evaluation and management into practice requires the adoption of new practices by all providers, and this effort by LifeCare is an important step in that direction.
Shelton, CT (PRWEB) January 10, 2008
LifeCare®, Inc., provider of comprehensive specialty care services and a longtime leader in the work/life industry, is now offering a comprehensive set of fall prevention services to employers, managed health care organizations and professional geriatric care managers nationwide, thanks to a partnership with Yale University and its Connecticut Center for Fall Prevention (CCFP) program -- the first partnership of its kind for the University and the CCFP.
Under terms of the partnership, LifeCare is making available fall prevention resources developed by Yale and Dr. Mary Tinetti, director of the Yale Program on Aging. These resources include a proprietary fall prevention kit, educational articles, guides, tip sheets and more. In addition, Yale and LifeCare are developing a fall prevention curriculum that will be delivered to LifeCare's staff as well as members of its national network of professional geriatric care managers.
Dr. Mary Tinetti and her team at Yale University are internationally recognized as experts on the subject of fall prevention. LifeCare's fall prevention services address a range of risk factors for falling and include medication management, behavioral instructions and exercise programs aimed at reducing risk factors.
"Most of the nation's employers, workers and professional care managers have never before had access to specialized fall and injury prevention materials of this caliber and scope," said LifeCare's medical director, Dr. Barney Spivack. "And with the nation's population and workforce aging so rapidly, resources like these are becoming more and more critical."
Peter G. Burki, LifeCare's CEO, added, "We're absolutely delighted to be partnering with Dr. Tinetti and her team at Yale, one of the country's most prestigious centers for medical research, education and advanced health care. And we're pleased to be leading the way in raising awareness of fall prevention among employers, managed health care organizations and working caregivers."
"In spite of compelling data that many falls are preventable, lack of attention to fall prevention is due in part to the focus on treatment of individual diseases," said Dr. Tinetti. "Older adults require management of multiple simultaneous conditions in a manner that protects their ability to function safely. The widespread incorporation of fall risk evaluation and management into practice requires the adoption of new practices by all providers, and this effort by LifeCare is an important step in that direction."
Dr. Tinetti's team was the first to find that it is possible to identify older persons at risk for falling and injury; that falls and injuries are associated with a range of more serious consequences; and that risk-reduction strategies are clinically effective and cost-effective. She has been the director of the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at Yale since 1992. Her program, the Connecticut Center for Fall Prevention, was supported by The Patrick & Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation.
Thirty-five to 40 percent of people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year, says Dr. Spivack. The resulting costs and the impact on quality of life can be catastrophic. In 2000, direct medical costs totaled $19.5 billion dollars for fall injuries. By 2020, the cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $43.8 billion dollars, according to published reports.
But older adults aren't the only people at risk, Dr. Spivack points out. Roughly 60 percent of Americans caring for older loved ones also work full-time jobs. Attending to a loved one who has fallen often requires an intensive level of care, forcing these caregivers to miss work, become less productive or quit their jobs altogether. LifeCare's new resources are designed specifically to help older adults and their caregivers avoid these problems by significantly reducing an older adult's risk of falling, thanks to Dr. Tinetti's techniques, which have been proven to reduce falls. In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, the rate of falling was reduced by 30 percent among older adults. Further, the costs of delivering these interventions were more than offset by the decreased use of health services in the year following intervention.
LifeCare's Fall Prevention Kit, for example, contains several informational guides -- Living a Healthy Fall-Free Life; Home Safety for Fall Prevention; and Basic Exercises and Good Posture for Better Balance; among others -- and a variety of helpful products such as a nightlight, fluorescent strips, checklists, tip sheets, and more.
About the Yale School of Medicine
Founded in 1810, the Yale School of Medicine is a world-renowned center for biomedical research, education and advanced health care. The School of Medicine consistently ranks among the handful of leading recipients of research funding from the National Institutes of Health and other organizations supporting the biomedical sciences. The school's unique curriculum, known as the Yale system of medical education, promotes teaching in small seminar, conference and tutorial settings, and requires student self-evaluation, independent thinking and investigation. Since 1839, Yale has required that each student complete a thesis based on original research prior to graduation. Graduates of the school have gone on to significant leadership positions in virtually every medical field, as well as many non-medical areas.
About LifeCare®, Inc.
LifeCare's cost-saving benefits help clients reduce their most pervasive absenteeism and productivity drains including elder care, caregiving support, aging-oriented health and wellness issues, and more. With the rapid aging of the American workforce, a growing number of employers are turning to LifeCare to help them address the evolving needs of their organizations. LifeCare helps to ensure that their employees make informed, healthy lifestyle choices; protect their physical and cognitive health; maintain independence for as long as possible; and receive the legal and financial assessments they need to secure their futures. Founded in 1984, LifeCare now serves 1,500 client companies with 4.5 million individuals within corporations, health plans, government agencies and unions. For more information, visit http://www.lifecare.com.
Notes to Editors
Peter G. Burki and Dr. Barney Spivack are available for interview.
Media contact: Michael Civiello, 203-291-4170
This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.