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Preventing Falls

Preventing Falls

New Age Care News

Preventing Falls

As you get older you are at greater risk of falling. This is due, in part to the effects of ageing on our bodies but also long term health conditions. Although the majority of falls don’t result in serious injury they can lead to broken bones, which often take longer to heal, and can also knock your confidence, which can lead to mental health issues.

What can I do to prevent a fall?

Prevention is always better than cure. There are many things you can do to look after yourself and reduce your risk of fall. Here are the key ones:

Stay Active
Regular exercise can improve your balance and muscle strength which in turn helps to reduce your risk of falling.

Stay hydrated
Not drinking enough fluids can lead to light headedness and dizziness, as well as other issues, which may result in a fall. Make sure you drink 6-8 cups per day.

If you’d like to know more about the importance of regular fluid please check out our previous blog.

The importance of regular fluid intake

Eat Regularly and Well

Eating regularly will keep your energy levels up and help to avoid feeling tired and light-headed, which can lead to falls. Eating foods that help you stay strong and healthy also reduce the chance of falls.

  • Eat a balanced diet for overall good health
  • Ensure you have enough protein in your diet for muscle mass & strength
  • Eat calcium rich foods for strong bones
  • Eat minimal foods high in sugar to reduce spikes and falls in energy.

Wear the right footwear
Your risk of tripping and falling is increased by not wearing the right footwear or ill-fitting shoes.

  • For the best grip always wear shoes or slippers in the house rather than bare feet, socks or tights.
  • Have your shoes fitted, so they are the right size and don’t slip off
  • Avoid footwear that provides little support & stability such as flip flops, sliders, sandals and high heels
  • Wear slippers that have a good grip on the bottom and stay on

Look after your Eyesight & Hearing
As you age your sight and hearing can deteriorate causing you to trip or lose your balance. It is important to regularly get your sight and hearing tested, and to act quickly if you notice any changes.

Manage Medication
Some medications can have side effects such as nausea or dizziness. Ensure you are aware of any such issues with the medication you are taking and adjust your behaviour accordingly.

Preventing falls at Home

Many falls experienced by older people happen in the home, as this is where they spend the majority of their time. Here are our top tips for reducing the risk of falls in each room of your home.


Hallways & Stairs

  • Keep your hallway and stairs clear of furniture and clutter.
  • Ensure you have adequate lighting with light switches at each end of the hall and at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Ensure carpets or rugs are firmly secured to the floor.
  • Most stairs only have one handrail. Add a handrail on the other side and use them both to go up and down


Living Areas

  • Keep your hallway and stairs clear of furniture and clutter.
  • Have a sofa or chair that is the right height for you to safely get in and out of.
  • Remove or replace any low lying furniture such as coffee tables.
  • Ensure you have clear access to light switches, power plugs, curtains & cupboards.
  • Ensure carpets or rugs are firmly secured to the floor.


Kitchen

  • Put items that you frequently use within easy reach. If you need something that is out of reach use a grab stick or ask someone for help.
  • Have a mop handy to clean up spills immediately


Bedroom

  • Keep the path from your bed to the bathroom clear of clutter.
  • Get a bed that is the right height for you to get in and out of.
  • Have a night light or make sure you can access your light switch from your bed.
  • Keep a phone within reach of your bed.
  • Get dressed sitting down or ensure you have something sturdy, such as a grab bar to hold on to while you dress.


Bathroom

  • Put in grab bars next to the toilet and in your shower or bath.
  • Shower chairs are a good option if you cannot stand for too long or are unsteady on your feet.
  • Place non-slip mats on any surfaces that get wet.

A few Reminders

When assessing your home, remember to look for these three things:
1) Clutter
2) Easy access to the things you use the most
3) Good lighting

There are lots of aids available to help you.

Always maintain three points of contact i.e., two hands and one foot or two feet and one hands, to ensure proper balance.

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