When you consider that falls are the leading cause of injury in people aged 65 and over, and that one in three elderly people suffer falls every year, then it is sensible to take steps to prevent falls.
In assessing dangerous fall hazards to our elderly loved one’s wellbeing, we need to take into account these common risk factors:
As we age, our vision declines and our lens may no longer focus properly. It becomes more difficult to see contrasting edges, and therefore tripping hazards such as rugs may not be noticed.
Our balance and co-ordination changes as we age. Reduced flexibility and an unsteady gait can contribute to an increase in the likelihood of a fall.
Chronic Health Conditions
More than 90% of adults suffer chronic health conditions such as stroke, diabetes or arthritis, these contribute to inactivity, pain or depression, which in turn can be a contributing factor to a fall.
Some prescription and over the counter medications can cause dizziness or dehydration, both of which can make falls more likely. Also, interactions between certain medications can produce side effects such as these, as well as mental confusion.
As we grow older, we need to reassess the risk of furniture and objects in our homes. A risk assessment should be conducted to eliminate everyday risk factors around the house.
Falls in the elderly, often cause injuries that can take months of recovery and rehabilitation, so any prevention you can take is advisable.
- Assess your surroundings at home and when out and about. Avoid poorly lit areas, places with lots of steps or cluttered areas.
- Fit out your home with grab bars and necessary mobility aids.
- Add lights to poorly lit areas.
- Use non-slip mats, especially around wet areas like the bathroom.
- Exercise regularly as this will assist with balance and strength.
- Wear sensible shoes.
- Review medications with a Doctor to ensure they don’t interact and cause dizziness.
Being aware of the risks and minimising environmental hazards could save a lot of pain and heartache in the long run. Our Homestyle Homes have all been risk assessed and are fitted out with mobility assistance aids such as grab rails along the walls and in the bathrooms. If you would like to visit one of our homes today call us on 9559 0400 or contact us here.