As we age the likelihood of having a fall can naturally increase and it is important that we put a few things in place to prevent these. The thought of having such a fall can be rather worrying and Radfield Home Care Shrewsbury and Oswestry have outlined below various tips which can really help to prevent falls. Many are really quick and easy to implement, allowing us to continue with our independent and active lifestyles. Radfield Home Care Shrewsbury and Oswestry’s registered care manager, Sonya Cole, tells us more:
“When it comes to falls the first thing we need to do is to look to ourselves and ask – ‘how can I reduce my individual risk of a fall e.g. how can I make my home safer?’. We really need to make sure we take the time to minimise risk in the environment surrounding us. Simple tricks such as tidying up clutter on the floor at home and checking our vision are some of the effective ways of stopping falls.
When we visit our clients our eagle-eyed care professionals are always on the lookout! As soon as they step foot out of the car they are risk assessing not only themselves but the whole environment before even entering a property. By identifying anything that has the potential to cause harm, such as a nasty fall, helps us to implement simple adjustments quickly.”
How can I reduce the likelihood of having a fall?
The key to stopping the majority of falls is good old fashioned prevention, things we are able to look out for and address ourselves. But where to start? Firstly, we’ll identify a few things about us personally that can contribute to having a fall and then we’ll look at how our environment can contribute to having a fall. Have a read below, it could really make a difference!
- How is your eyesight? Changes in our eyesight overtime can mean alterations may occur which may contribute to a fall, e.g. our perception of depth, particularly useful when walking up and down stairs, may alter and we trip. We may also find things have become blurry or perhaps our eyesight is particularly strained in one eye. It is important that we attend regular eye examinations, at least every two years, at a local optician.
- Keeping active – Key to stopping falls is ensuring we maintain good balance and coordination as both are essential in helping us move around safely within our environment. There are simple exercises we can do and also a range of resources available with fun and engaging strength and balance exercises for us all. Before starting out on this it is always important to check with your doctor what may or may not be suitable for you personally – ensuring you get the best results and the best training guidance available.
- What are you wearing on your feet? Great stability and the ability to move around the house safely is directly linked to what we have on our feet. Wearing supporting footwear with good grip will also keep us planted to the floor. This is especially important when going up and down stairs and on more slippery surfaces such as kitchen tiles (avoiding wearing socks or going barefoot). When exercising the right type of footwear will make such a difference and ensuring our shoes reflect the weather and are not too loose will increase our stability when out and about.
- Have you had a medication review recently? Whether you have been taking something for a long time, or have recently been prescribed something new, it’s important to bear in mind that some medications can have side effects such as dizziness. Your doctor is on hand to review these and it’s a great idea to have this done every 12 months and/or as soon as you are concerned.
- What’s in the fridge? What we eat and drink can have a big impact on our stability and can contribute to us having a fall. Regular meals and glasses of water ensure we have that all important balance of hydration and nutrition – reducing dizzy spells and keeping our strength up throughout the day.
How can falls at home be reduced?
Again, many of the following tips are really simple, quick and easy to implement, but make such a difference when we move around our environment at home. Combining these with the tips above will all work together to reduce the likelihood of us having a fall.
- Having a well lit home
- Removing any clutter and trailing wires, in particular from the floor and stairs
- Think about wearing a supportive pair of indoor shoes to avoid slips and trips
- Make sure your clothing won’t cause a trip hazard
- Taking your time to get up and out of bed and chairs, reducing those dizzy spells
- Use non slip rugs and carpets – replacing or removing old frayed carpet
- Consider modifications you feel would help with your mobility and ability to live at home independently, this could include help going up and down stairs for example
- Avoid climbing onto chairs to access things, consider moving things around so they are easily accessible
As we know, the majority of falls can be avoided by making small adjustments to our environment and ensuring we undergo an MOT to check our general eye health and review our medications. Radfield is always on hand to provide extra support with mobility and home care assistance and are proud to be able to help our clients feel safer at home.
Radfield Home Care Shrewsbury and Oswestry always personalise their care packages so that they truly reflect their clients needs. If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care and the home care support services offered, you can you can visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact the office directly [email protected] or 01743 245 555.