Look after yourself Series
Fall Prevention Awareness
The takeaway message is pretty simple – falls are preventable. Staying fall-free will have a positive impact on your wellbeing, quality of life and independence. The reality is fall-related injuries to older people, is increasing. Unfortunately, for seniors, the risk of falling increases with age.Thankfully, falls ought not to be considered as an unavoidable part of aging. Some simple actions on your part can go a long way in protecting yourselves. Yes, you have a key role in instituting a fall prevention strategy. Important safety measures that should be put in place include:
A good place to start is in and round the house, reduce trip and slip hazards
- Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food. As they say, wipe up and avoid a slip up
- Remove books, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords frompassages / entrances
- Either remove loose rugs from your home or ensure to properly secure them
- Make sure that chairs and beds are sturdy and easy to get into and out of, and that tables do not have sharp corners
- Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and passages
- Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs
- Where needed use assistive devices – canes, walkers. Further in accident prone places such as bathroom, consider non-slip mats, grab bars, bath seat, raised toilet seat etc.
- Always avoid tasks that you cannot perform safely, seek assistance
- Consider a wearable alarm device or keep handy an alarm device / phone to call for immediate help
- Use proper fitting, sturdy shoes with non -slip soles
- Take your time getting out of your chair or out of your bed, don’t be in a rush.
Stay active and healthy
- One cannot over emphasise the need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Regular exercises are known to improve mobility and also reduce the risk of falling.
- Periodic review of your medications, eye check-ups are a given. At your next visit to the doctor / health professional, do not hesitate to discuss any issues that you are experiencing which contribute to the risk of falling, for instance -joint pain, balance,muscle strength, etc.
Remember, small changes can lower risks and go a long way in preventing falls. Be active, live safe and maintain your independence!