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Falls Prevention

Why are older people more prone to falls, and to suffer injuries linked to them?

As people age, their risk of falling increases. This is because their vision, sense of balance, and coordination is reduced, and muscles get weaker too. These contribute to a slower reaction time when they lose their balance. Certain medical conditions increase the risk of falls as well, such as cataracts, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, dementia, and osteoarthiritis.


Falls can cause pain and injuries such as bone fractures and head injuries, affecting the person’s ability to perform daily activities. In severe cases, it can result in disability, loss of independence, and death. It is important to understand the risks and learn what can be done to reduce them.

KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE AND NEAT

Most falls happen at home. Here are simple tips to reduce the risk of falling:

In The Living Room:
  • Ensure wires and cords are untangled and kept safely
  • Arrange your furniture so that it is easy and safe to move around the room

In The Kitchen
  • Use a stool if your loved one needs to reach a high shelf
  • Move commonly used items to a lower shelf for an easier reach
  • Ensure that wires and cords are safely tucked away

In The Bathroom
  • Install grab rails on walls beside the toilet
  • Use non-skid mats
  • Consider using a shower chair and portable shower head
In The Bedroom
  • Place light switches within reach
  • Install night lights between bathroom and bedroom
  • Get out of bed slowly to avoid dizziness

On The Stairways
  • Don't leave things lying around the stairway
  • Ensure there is good lighting
  • Install handrails on either or both sides of the stairs if possible

Activities of daily living for your Loved One
  • Buy proper eyewear for clearer vision
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes at home to prevent slips and falls
  • Use walking aids if necessary
  • Ensure regular check-ups and take medication as prescribed
  • Be aware of the side-effects of the medication prescribed
  • Ensure that spills are cleaned at once


CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR

Although falls are more common among older people, they should not be accepted as a normal part of ageing. A single fall can cause serious injuries. It is important that you consult a doctor if your senior fell once, so that a proper fall risk assessment can be carried out.

The doctor will:
  • Review your loved one’s history of falls
  • Review his/ her medication
  • Evaluate his/ her gait (that is, the way they walk) and sense of balance
  • Test your loved one’s vision
  • Determine the status of your loved one’s cardiovascular health, including heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure
  • Review his/ her need to use walking aids, such as canes and walkers
  • Refer him/ her to a physiotherapist for training and balancing

Do consider regular follow-up consultations with the doctor. This will help you to manage and detect any new risk factors for falls earlier. It is also necessary to keep track of any deterioration in your loved one’s health that may require changes or modifications to your environment.


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What causes falls and how to lower your loved one’s risks of injury from falling at home.
Falls Prevention
What causes falls and how to lower your loved one’s risks of injury from falling at home.
Falls Prevention