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Fall Prevention in Seniors

Taking measures to prevent trips & falls for older people!

As the human body ages, frailty becomes a part of this phase. According to the HSE issued a statement that the risk of falling increases with age. Falls in seniors can lead to severe consequences that will impact their lives. It may lead to serious injuries such as disabilities, psychological setbacks and even deaths are more common. The risk of falling increases with age. A study completed by the HSE states that 1 in 3 older people fall every year and that two-thirds of them have a repeat fall within the next 6 months. To prevent the dangers of trips and falls among old people, we have compiled methods you can apply within their homes to prevent these dangerous scenarios. Areas to watch out for: Floors in the home:

  • Loose rugs / mats - ensure that loose rugs and mats are affixed to the floors with double sided tape.

  • Check that appliances with long leads and cords are as close to the wall as possible.

  • Clear the floor of any clutter.

  • Place the furniture in areas to keep a clear path to walk through.

Steps / Stairs:

  • Keep stairwells free from clutter.

  • The stairs must have a bannister as it allows people to support themselves. Have one installed if there are none.

  • Add lighting if the stairs are in a poorly lit area.

  • Fix carpets that have become loose from the stairs.

Bathrooms:

  • It is essential to have non-slip rubber mats. Adjust it to the base of the shower or bath for security.

  • If a person is unsure of their balance, a handrail is a great addition for ease of access and exit.

  • In the point of mats, they should not be loose. It is best to move them completely or attach them to the floor with velcro strips.

Kitchen:

  • Cutlery and all items that are regularly used should be easily accessible. Necessary items must be within reach.

Bedroom:

  • There must be lighting around the bed and also lighting that provides a clear trail to the bathroom.

  • Don’t forget that bed sheets could be a cause of concern as people can slip on them. Always have the beds tightly made and tucked away as much as possible.

  • If your loved ones are enjoy using electronics such as Kindles & iPads, it would be a good idea to source them wireless chargers to ensure they don’t trip on wires and cables.

Garden:

  • Hedges must be trimmedt or be cut back so that a walking pathway is unobstructed.

  • In cold seasons, especially during winter, it’s best to stay inside until it starts to thaw. It is a good idea to keep a bag of salt for emergency.

Other helpful tips:

  • Staying physically active is key for longevity. Exercising regularly, strengthens your body & improves your balance and coordination.

  • Start exercises that are comfortable for you at a steady pace.

  • Walking is perfect to begin with. You can increase the distance you walk.

  • Wearing loose clothing is important when you are exercising to ensure you can move freely.

  • If you’re unsure of what exercises to do consult your doctor to get advice which ones to do.

References: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/olderpeople/strategy-to-prevent-falls-and-fractures-in-irelands-ageing-population---full-report.pdf https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/olderpeople/preventingfalls.pdf https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/olderpeople/executive-summary---strategy-to-prevent-falls-and-fractures-in-irelands-ageing-population.pdf

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