Each year, a significant proportion of those over 80 are admitted to hospital following a fall. Whilst for younger people a fall may just result in severe bruising, it can have much more serious implication in the elderly resulting in injuries like hip fractures and other broken bones.
When it comes to accidents in the home, prevention is better than cure so it is important to take the right steps to ensure that the home is as safe as possible to reduce the likelihood of serious accidents that may result in hospitalisation.
Ensure there is appropriate lighting in your home
Poor lighting is a major contributor to many of the preventable falls that occur in the home. If your lighting is dim you may want to think about brighter bulbs, or even adding some extra lights. Don’t forget to keep a supply of spare bulbs just in case.
Consult a falls team
There are teams that specialise in helping people to reduce the risk of falling in the home. They will help you to make sure that your home is as safe as possible. It may be necessary for your doctor to refer you for this service, as you will need to show that you are either at risk of falling or have a history of falls.
Keep important things handy
A very simple step but one that can easily help to prevent falls is ensuring that you keep important things close to hand. Whilst it is still important to be mobile, keeping things you might need close by will avoid any unnecessary journey around your home that might result in a fall.
Consider help around the home
If you have started to have accidents in your home and have removed trip hazards and installed mobility aids, then it may be time to consider help. In-home care will allow you to keep your independence and still live in your own home whilst giving you the help you may need. Domiciliary care services can be arranged to help you with errands in the home and are a real alternative to the option of moving into a care home.
Remove trip hazards
Over time, our homes can become full of trip hazards, often things that we don’t even notice. Ask a family member to look around your home with you for trip hazards and remove them. These hazards could be things like a rug that doesn’t sit flat on the floor, cables from phones or lamps, or even flooring that can become very slippery when wet. Moving some of your furniture around or adding nonslip rugs could make a real difference. You want to be able to walk around your home without bumping into anything or having to step over things as this can increase your chance of having an accident.
Invest in mobility aids
There are a range of mobility aids that you may want to consider such as handrails. Before you pay out, however, you could speak to the falls team who could help you obtain such aids in a cost-effective way.