Prevention is better than the cure! Never a truer word when it comes to avoiding a fall as the stakes are high and there are some simple things that we can do to avoid falling.
Most of us want to stay at home and live independently but all too often a fall that could be prevented means a stay in Hospital and potentially a long recovery which may take away your choices and control.
There are ways you can reduce your risk of having a fall, including making simple changes to your home and doing exercises to improve your strength and balance.
Some tips to avoid falls:
Be more aware of the trip hazards in your home
Remove trip hazards especially on or around the stairs, use non slip mats, keep your home well-lit and replace steps with ramps where possible, be aware of steps and use grab rails. Use a stick indoors as well as outside to help you get out of the chair or around the house if necessary. Don’t rush to answer the door or the phone, you could even get a camera doorbell and a cordless or mobile phone (but keep it with you!)
Strength and Balance training
Doing regular strength exercises and balance exercises can improve your strength and balance, and reduce your risk of having a fall. These can be seated and do not have to be strenuous but gentle and repetitive but if you want to go for a run, spinning class or dance class – go for it!
This can be a simple form of exercise done alone or in a group, such as walking, seated exercise, static cycling or a more active dance, or specialist training programmes or class. Many community centres and local gyms offer specialist training programmes for older people and often chair based exercise classes. Use a stick or walking aid if you need one, don’t risk your legs giving way!
Get your eyes tested, wear the right glasses and keep your home well.
Foot Health and Good Footwear
It can be hard to get sturdy, well-fitting shoes on when you struggle to bend and do them up but aids can make this much easier and loose fitting shoes/slippers cause too many falls.
If you don’t bounce back like you used to be mindful of your alcohol intake as a fall down the stairs may put you in Hospital and dizzy spells when you first stand up from sitting is often the cause of a fall with or without a fuzzy head.
Door cameras, personal alarms and pull cord alarms can raise help quickly. If you are at risk of falling a movement sensor or fall alarm might be wise and there are assistive technology aids, sensors and cameras, Alexa and camera doorbells that make life easier and mean you don’t feel like you have to move quickly.
Aids and Adaptations
The Local Authority can arrange an assessment of your home and provide aids and minor adaptations free of charge!
If you would like us to review your home and make some suggestions for preventing falls please get in touch, read the NHS guide for more information and ideas or speak to your GP if you are worried about falling.
Thank you for reading this weeks blog, Preventing Falls.
If you would like some help please Get In Touch.