Yale University Department of Emergency Medicine, Section of Emergency Medical Services is assisting elders and others with impaired mobility through a community based program known as PRIDE (Participant Centered Referrals for Increased Independence and Decreased Disability in the Elderly, through a $7.15 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
Eligible participants for PRIDE live at home and have: 1) called 9-1-1 because they were unable to get up without assistance, 2) fallen in the past or are at risk of falling or 3) fallen, been transported to a local emergency department to be seen because of a fall, and are subsequently released to their home. Additional criteria for eligibility include: having no complaint of, or apparent, acute illness or injury, and with the ability to understand and sign the informed consent document, or having a designated proxy for healthcare decisions present who can do so on their behalf.
PRIDE Team Members together with visiting nurses in the community, coordinate closer follow up with primary care providers to identify fall risks and address any unapparent medical conditions, access community resources, and implement evidence-based fall prevention strategies.
Because those who have fallen have many risk factors such as advanced age, cognitive and physical disability, limited mobility, social isolation, and polypharmacy according to the published literature, PRIDE’s community interventions are modeled after evidence-based fall prevention strategies.
PRIDE’s purpose is to intervene on behalf of these Seniors before they are injured or require hospitalization. The model is to a PRIDE Team Member visit the home once the individual has enrolled in PRIDE, to gather data related to recent health and fall risk; they in turn coordinate a visit by a visiting nurse to assess need/eligibility for services, and arrange for an appointment and (if necessary) transportation for the study participant to visit his or her primary physician.
Ultimately, PRIDE strives to enhance seniors’ ability to live safely and independently in their own homes, while decreasing their reliance on the 9-1-1 system and hospital emergency departments.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by the Joanne McGovern, Senior Program Coordinator with the PRIDE Program, Yale University Department of Emergency Medicine, Section of Emergency Medical Services and may be reached at 203-785-4676