Elderly people are at a major risk of falls due to:
- Advanced age, especially age greater than 75
- A fall in the recent past
- Coexisting conditions that are associated with falls, including dementia, depression, hip fracture, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson disease, and osteoporosis
- A functional disability or impaired gait, balance, or vision
- Use of an assistive device or a physical restraint
- Use of medications
- Urinary incontinence
What can family members do to prevent falls in elderly?
Falls are not a rite of passage with ageing. With a few small modifications in and around the home, they can be avoided. The following safety precautions should be followed to prevent risk of falls:
- Remove or tape down rug edges. Carpets/ rugs are a major trip-hazard. Improper securing creates buckling or roll ups. This creates hot spots for falls.
- Clear clutter from walkways and stairs. The chaos of daily life can make it easy for clutter to pile up, but shoes, newspapers, clothes, books, etc. all contribute to the risk of falls for elderly people.
- Ensure adequate lighting throughout the home. Place nightlights in hallways and stairwells. As we age, we make more frequent trips to the restroom, especially during the night. To reduce tripping hazards (and account for limited vision), place nightlights in hallways leading to the bathroom. Also, make sure each step on the stairwell is well-lit to help seniors navigate the stairs more easily after dark.
- Add non-slip mats in the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen and bathroom are two places where it’s common to find water on the floor. The same way that custodians know to put up “Slippery when wet” signs on the floors of public spaces, it’s important to safeguard your elderly loved one from the dangers of falls in these areas. Non-slip mats near the sinks and bathtub/shower will greatly reduce the risk of falls.
- Consider safety supports. Whether you need to add an additional railing on the stairs or install grab bars in the bathroom, make sure to do a full assessment of your loved one’s needs. An Occupational Therapist would be able to help you figure out your exact needs for the house, ensuring that your loved ones will remain safe in the home.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing. You want to feel comfortable at home, but baggy clothes can sometimes make you more likely to fall. Opt for better-fitting and properly hemmed clothing that doesn’t bunch up or drag on the ground.
Preparing Your Home to Prevent Falls
Most falls occur in the home during everyday tasks. By utilizing a few ideas and identifying potential problems before they occur, you can keep yourself safe with relatively little effort. The key to preparing well is understanding that caution is not a weakness. Even if you feel that a particular area of your home will not be an issue, it’s best to prepare it anyway. While you may not have a problem navigating, say, your bedroom, there are other factors (such as time of night, grogginess, medication, or fatigue) that could affect your balance adversely.
Preparing Your Body to Prevent Falls
In addition to making your home a safer environment, one of the best things you can do to prevent falls is physical exercise. Safe exercise types, such as water exercise classes, yoga, or tai chi, are effective ways of building balance and muscle stability. Even after taking these precautions there is no guarantee that you will not be prone to fall. For that, you need extra assistance, consider services such as at home caregiving to help you with assisted daily living.
The greatest prevention strategy is the presence of professional caregivers. Having home based nursing care ensures lesser restrictions and personalized treatment in a familiar environment. Being in such an environment, neither the patient nor the caregivers have to worry about the hassles of rules and regulations of any medical facility. This also has a significant cost-efficiency factor tagged to it.
With HealthCare atHOME by your side, falls will be a thing of history. Under our skilled team of nurses, who take care of everything from drug administration to assisted daily living and rehabilitation, you will be in safe hands!
To avail expert nursing care services at home, please reach visit https://hcah.in/nurse-at-home/ or contact us at 1800-102-4224.