How to prevent falls, make the home fall proof and stay safe | Rivendell Care

We have put together a list of hazards and dangers to look out for as well as tips to maintain strength to limit the risk of falls for the elderly in their own home. The team at Rivendell have brainstormed and shared expert knowledge:

1. Regular exercise is important for the elderly to maintain core strength, balance and agility

One of the most common reasons for falling is a loss of balance. Completing daily exercise helps maintain physical fitness, balance, and muscle strength and can help prevent falls by improving posture. Research suggests there are great benefits to keeping agile by completing the following exercises: (LINK) https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fall-prevention-exercises

2. Have regular medication reviews

Some medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness, especially when combined with other medications. When being prescribed new medications always take along a list of daily medications and ask if any conflict. Read possible side effects or speak to a medical professional if feeling dizzy or unwell.

Some medications that may cause dizziness include Antidepressants (such as amitriptyline and doxepin), Antihistamines (such as hydroxyzine) and Antiseizure drugs (such as gabapentin).

3. Have regular eye tests and ensure the property is well lit and free from trip hazards

What is a trip hazard? A trip hazard could be a turned-up rug, uneven walking surfaces, cluttered floor, wrinkled carpeting, wet or slippery floors, loose cables, bottom drawers not being closed, side tables and chair legs in front of walking paths.

As we age, it is common for vision to deteriorate or develop eye conditions such as cataracts. Tasks that we were once familiar with can be challenging. Visit the optician a minimum of every two years. If vision is blurry or misty, it is important to visit the optician, as this can make seeing obstacles a challenge.

Make sure lighting is adequate at night so that the home is not dark when going from room to room or navigating the stairs in darkness. Poor lighting is a common cause of falls among seniors. We recommend purchasing plug-in night lights with sensors.

Keep paths well lit by using lamps with shades or placing them in strategic locations along walkways. This applies to outside the property too. Take into account if there is a poorly lit walk to the front door or in the garden.

We get used to things where they are but they might not be in the safest place, therefore it is important to ask someone that doesn’t live in the property to review. Before starting a new client, a home care provider will visit to conduct a risk assessment – they would look out for any trip hazards and will provide feedback if there are any concerns.

4. Do not rush around the home

Make sure the home is set up with important items within reachable distance. A common reason the elderly fall is when rushing to answer the door or telephone. Purchase mobile handsets for your landline and keep mobile phones in pockets or convenient places, a video doorbell such as Ring or Nest means that there can be communication with the person outside without having to make it to the front door and install a video doorbell or intercoms on each floor.

4. Appropriate footwear

5. Wear a personal alarm

6. Handrails in stars and bathroom

2. Eliminate clutter

Keep paths clutter-free and well-lit.

Keeping your home clutter-free can help prevent falls. If you have to navigate a path littered with toys, shoes, and other items, it may be more difficult for you to see the flooring or stairs that are there and could cause you to trip over them. Additionally, if the house is dark because lights aren’t working or bulbs aren’t replaced when needed (or if there are shadows), it will make it harder for the elderly person living in your home to see any potential hazards on their walkways as well..

Keep walkways clear at all times.

It’s important that families keep paths clear at all times so their elderly loved ones don’t risk tripping over items left out by family members or pets while walking around their home

A little planning goes a long way when it comes to preventing falls for the elderly

Planning is key when it comes to preventing falls for the elderly. The best way to do that is by keeping pathways clutter-free and well-lit. Make sure you have comfortable chairs throughout the house, especially near windows and doors where most accidents occur. Regular exercise will help your elderly maintain his or her balance and muscle strength.

Some medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness, especially when combined with other medications; ask your doctor if you need an alternative medication that doesn’t affect your balance or motor skills as much.

Positional low blood pressure (such as orthostatic hypotension) when blood pressure drops upon standing

Get a personal alarm – they can monitor falls and alert a chosen phone number as well as emergency services.

 

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