Falls can happen to anyone, but, unfortunately, as you grow older falls can become more common and you are more likely to injure yourself.
Most elderly people fall in and around the home but falls are also common in aged care homes. Unfortunately, if you have a serious injury it can lead to surgery, hospital admission and inevitably a change in where you live due to safety issues and risks of further falls.
The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to help prevent falls and minimise your injuries if you do fall. Knowing your risk factors and taking a few precautions is a good start.
Things you can do to reduce your risk of falling include:
- eating healthy and nutritious food
- hazard proofing your home to make it as safe as possible – removing slip or trip hazards like loose rugs or mats and repairing or replacing worn areas of carpets
- wiping up spills immediately
- not walking in socks
- installing grab rails in the bathroom
- wearing the right shoes – comfortable, firm-fitting, flat shoes with a low wide heel, laces, buckles or Velcro fastenings and rubber soles that grip
- making sure clothing is not too long causing a trip hazard (touching the floor)
- drinking enough fluids
- keeping pathways in good repair and clean
- marking the edge of steps so they are easy to see.
- wearing slippers which are good fitting
- making sure there is adequate lighting, especially at night
- using your walking aid at all times
- maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, with regular exercise to prevent your muscles weakening
- taking medication only as prescribed
How can we help?
If you’ve had a fall, or you often feel like you’re at risk of falling, don’t just dismiss it as part of getting older, lack of concentration or clumsiness. At Rehab Ready Healhcare, our physios or occupational therapists can help.
Our physiotherapists can help you with balance and strengthening exercises. We can assess and source equipment such as a walking frame or stick to help you move about more safely. It’s important that any equipment you do use is adjusted to meet your needs and well maintained. For example, a physiotherapist can help make sure that your walking frame is the correct height for you and teach you how to use it safely.
Our occupational therapist can assess your home environment for potential hazards. They can help you with modifications to make your home safer, such as rails in the bathroom, grab and shower rails, hand rails, ramps and other mobility aids, emergency alarms and other safety aids