Friday, 20 May 2016

Fall Prevention For The Elderly

Are You At Risk Of A Fall?

It's not only the over 80's that are more prone to falls each year, though that age group has a 50% chance of falling at least once a year.

It can happen to those of us who are younger, in fact a third of those aged 65 and over will have a fall this year. There are a number of factors that increase the chances of a fall, so let's take a look at them.

Environmental Factors


Is your staircase safe?
Image Credit:Anthony Kelly
The stairs are the number one most likely place for a fall and so you need to make sure that a banister is in place.  

Is that carpeting properly fitted and not causing trip hazards on the staircase? 

Is the lighting bright enough on the stairs?  

In winter time an overcast day can mean that the only light coming through a hall window is very dim indeed. 

Add in a low wattage bulb right at the top of the stairs and it can be quite difficult to be climbing safely up or down, whatever your age. 

If any of the other risk factors are present, which we will get to shortly, and you can see why the stairs could be a dangerous place for some.

Lifestyle Factors
If you are older and on a pension, maybe living alone, you might want to save money by not having the heating on as much, and the same for not wanting to switch your lights on. 

If you go cold, then the circulation can be less vigorous and so you might be stiff when moving.  Trying to save a few quid, by leaving the lights off can be a danger, as you need to see where you're going wherever you are in the house. 

Are there trailing cables or ruffled up carpets or lino? Do you have a lot of ornaments and belongings around, perhaps in piles where you store things around your home?  These are all potential trip hazards and need re-arranging for safety reasons.

Personal Factors
If you have fallen already, you are then more likely to fall again. You need to let your doctor know, even if you weren't injured, in case your medication was a factor in the fall. You need to make sure that your vision is checked regularly too.
Eyesight checked recently?
Image Credit:George Redgrave

  • Are your feet looked after by a podiatrist and/or chiropodist? and is your footwear well-fitted and comfortable, with plenty of grip? 
  • Is your eyesight checked regularly, and hence are you sure that your glasses prescription is up to date? 
All of this will ensure that your foot placement is accurate when you are moving around your home, so lessening the chance of you tripping over.

Local University Introduces Falls Toolkit 
The cost of falls to the NHS is around £2billion a year, so any efforts to reduce the risks of falling are very much in favour.  Keele University, with it's links with the local UHNS Teaching Hospital, recently publicised a falls assessment toolkit, which you can look  at here Click it here to go to the Keele website  

Although it was designed initially for health professionals, we think that the questions it asks could be considered by a worried younger member of the family, to help mum or dad get the right advice, to help them to stay safe in their own home.  This has already been used throughout the whole of the UK, and we are very proud that it was developed here in North Staffordshire.  

Simple Products To Help You
You can equip your home with some or all of our helpful products, that will work towards fall prevention for the elderly.  Wherever you are in the home there could be a hazard.

Lino or tiled floors in the kitchen or bathroom can become slippery, especially with the addition of water from the basin or sink, so the addition of grab rails or safety rails here and at other specific points around the home, and particularly around the stairs area or the bathtub/shower, can be a good way to keep safe.  

We even have specialist bed rails, with or without an electric bed, for assisting with getting in or out of the sleeping position.
  
If you are having one of our stairlifts for your stairs you can still have a grab rail added to either the top and/or the bottom, which we can get you fitted for free* as part of your installation.  

Our premium range of electric riser recliner chairs can allow the move from sitting to standing, and back again, to be performed in a comfortable and easy way, if mobility is becoming more difficult. Take a look at how they work here.

When you are out and about shopping, attending appointments or visiting, and even within the home, then any of our aids to walking can be a real boon. Lightweight yet strong walkers and walking sticks help to give reassuring support to those who might be unsteady on their feet, and therefore at risk from a fall. 

So if any of the factors mentioned above are at all a concern, then please see your doctor or other qualified health professional, or pay us a visit at Castle Comfort Centre, where we have an array of products to assist in all areas of the home, from the bedroom, lounge and bathroom, through to outside.  

A warm welcome awaits you whenever you visit either of our showrooms here in the Potteries. See you soon!

*Conditions apply. Please enquire about grab rails when you make your order.

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