Falls are a scary thing. As we naturally age, we are at an increased risk of having a fall. Certain health conditions can increase your risk of falling, including:
- Chronic health conditions such as heart disease,
- Parkinson’s disease or diabetes
- Impairments that affect vision or weakness strength
- Illnesses that affect balance
When elderly people experience a fall, they often lose their confidence in themselves and may feel scared to live on their own or without assistance. If they have experienced a serious fall, they may need to spend time in hospital which can be equally unsettling.Family members too can be affected as they don’t feel they can leave their elderly parent or relation at home.
There are ways to help in these situations, and ways to prevent falls from occurring.
REDUCE THE CAUSE OF FALLS:
- Clear away clutter from the home and garden and ensure all walk ways are clear, especially those that are used at night
- Keep cords and electrical wires away from the floor where you can
- Avoid major changes which may disorientate, such as moving a bed around in the room.
CHECK THE SIGNS
- Get regular eye and ear checks. Poor vision can affect in risk of falls, and middle ear issues can cause imbalance or dizziness.
- Look out for changes in medication which can trigger balance instability or sudden agitation.
EQUIPMENT TO HELP REDUCE FALLS
Falls often occur at night when you are unable to see where you are going. Night lights simply plug into the power point and feature a LED light which automatically illuminates at the night. The light also has a small torch which is portable and can be taken with you where you walk.
Simply touch anywhere on the base of the lamp to turn it on and off.
Slippery floors are a huge problem for those prone to falling. A rubber-backed mat can be placed over this area to help reduce falls.
Getting up to use the bathroom at night can be a problem. Having a bedside commode in the bedroom means the toilet is closer and more accessible. A bedside commode has a removable pan concealed underneath its seat.
Personal alarms that communicate directly back to your family, or a call centre are important to ensure you are safe if you do have a fall and need assistance.
For more information on how to avoid falls, and what to do if you do experience a fall: