Prevent Falls & Trips
A fall in an older person can result in broken bones, hospital admission, and other complications arising from admission to hospital, such as pneumonia.
A fall can also result in loss of confidence and loss of mobility. Many falls can be prevented and by making small changes you can lower your chances of falling.
1. Keep Active and Exercise:
Regular physical activity makes you stronger and improves your balance and coordination.
Begin slowly and start with exercises you feel comfortable doing.
Start with walking. You can slowly increase the distance you walk.
Even if you have a chronic illness such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or arthritis, there is a certain level of activity to suit you. Many of these conditions will improve with exercise.
2. Ask your G.P. to review your medicines:
As you get older, you may need to change the dose of your medicines.
Some medicines or combinations of medicines may make you feel faint or light headed, which could lead to a fall. Always check with your G.P. for advice.
3. Have your vision checked:
Your eyesight changes as you get older. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling. Make sure you get your eyesight checked on a regular basis.
Stairs, Steps and Handrails:
Handrails offering support are best placed at a height where they can be reached, on both sides of stairs.
Fix loose or uneven steps. Replace worn, loose or frayed carpet/rugs if possible. Keep stairs and floor free of clutter and well lit up.
Have a light switch fitted at the top and bottom of the stairs.
In the Bathroom:
Fit grab rails next to your toilet, bath and shower.
Your bathroom should be well lit up.
To avoid the risk of slipping, keep the floor dry.
Keep items you use often within easy reach.
If you need to reach high shelves, use a steady step stool rather than a chair.
Place a lamp close to your bed, where it is easy to reach. Make sure there is a light between your bedroom and the bathroom.
Falls are preventable. Also remember if you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you visit your G.P. for a check-up. If you have fallen already you might be more likely to fall again, so it is important to slow down and use a walking stick, if recommended by your doctor.