- Fire Department
- CARES Program
Pinellas Park CARES was created from a nationwide movement on similar programs such as community paramedicine or mobile integrated healthcare. These programs aim to provide better resources to citizens through alternative means outside of the 911 system and transportation to a hospital.
About our Program
Falls are the second most common call for service in the Pinellas County EMS system and account for a large number of recurring calls to the same citizens. Pinellas Park CARES is a resource management tool for fall and injury prevention. The CARES program identifies recurrent falls at residential locations. We will reach out to those individuals directly, but will also consider requests for enrollment. Upon acceptance to the program, our CARES coordinator will schedule a consultation to conduct an in-home assessment. After our initial consultation, we provide our participants with tangible resources to mitigate and reduce the recurrence of frequent falls.
The CARES program also cooperates with local long term care facilities (Assisted Living Facilities / Skilled Nursing Facilities) to reduce falls and prevent injuries. As part of our program, we provide long term care facilities with an overall awareness of trends in their locations to subsequently reduce emergencies and fall related injuries and illness.
FALL PREVENTION TIPS
- Trip Hazards: Examine each room for hazards like loose carpet, throw rugs, pet toys, uneven floor, and electrical cords. Repair, remove, or replace those items. Remove clutter and keep walkways clear.
- Bathroom Safety: Install grab bars by toilets and tubs and NEVER use grab bars with suction cups. Use raised toilet seats, shower chairs, remove soap build-up in the tub or shower, and use a slip-resistant mat.
- Lighting: Install brighter lighting where needed. Add motion sensor night-lights in bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms for guidance at night.
- Footwear: Wear non-slip rubber soled shoes preferably with Velcro straps instead of laces. Use socks that have non-slip grips on the soles of the feet.
- Take Your Time: Many falls happen from moving too quickly from a sitting to a standing position or vice versa. Take a minute to stabilize yourself before attempting to get out of bed.
- Medications: Regularly review both over-the-counter and prescribed medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Medications should only be taken as prescribed.
- Vision and Hearing: Have your hearing and vision checked regularly as clouded vision or impaired hearing can increase the chances of a fall.
- Stay Active: With your doctor's OK, begin activities to improve strength and balance like walking, swimming, or chair exercises. If you avoid physical activity it will make a fall more likely. Your doctor can also refer you to a physical therapist to help improve balance and muscle strength.