How To Care For Somebody Who Falls
Elderly Falls Prevention
• Exercise and balance training – balance can be improved with gentle exercise to increase strength and coordination. The use of Balance Equipment can help with this.
• Regular health checks – particularly checking a person’s vision, blood pressure, blood sugars levels and eye sight. Ensure a person takes their medication regularly – falls can occur when this is not the case.
• Keep rooms, particularly hallways, stairways and landings clutter free.
• Make sure that all walk ways and used rooms are well lit, night lights and automatic lights can be of benefit.
• Make sure a person is eating and drinking regularly to avoid low blood sugars and consequent falls.
• Make sure that the persons shoes / slippers are supportive and grip, particularly if your floors are wooden or tiled. Ensure their clothes are the right length and do not cause them to trip.
• Keep regularly used items in easy reach – don’t put things in high or low places.
• Use remote sockets or raise sockets to prevent falling whilst bending.
• Grab Rails in appropriate places such as the side of a bath or at a step can provide stability.
• It is easy to fall in the bathroom when wet and slippery, use a non slip mat in the bath, long handled sponges can prevent bending and dizziness, a perching stool at the sink may assist people with balance problems.
• Remove loose rugs and make sure carpets are secured, especially on the stairs.
• An emergency alarm is important particularly if you live alone as it can enable you to get help should you fall. There are also alarms which can be triggered by a change in gravity without anyone having to press a button.
• If falling out of bed is a problem it is beneficial to have a low level bed with a fall out mat at the side to prevent injury. Bed safety rails and bumpers can assist – but beware of the risk of entrapment when using them.
• Make sure medication is taken on time – there are many different medication reminders to assist a person if they find this difficult.
• If a person is falling at home regularly and needs to be picked up there are lifting devices which can assist with this.
• If you are concerned that a person you care for will fall whilst trying to get out of their bed or chair then an alarm sensor mat will assist.
• If you are concerned about falls on the stairs make sure that stair carpet is not loose and worn, keep the stairs well lit and uncluttered, ensure there are rails on both sides of the stairs – newel posts rails can be of benefit on curved rails.
• Prompt a person to go to the toilet regularly to avoid rushing and use incontinence products if necessary. A commode downstairs can be useful in emergencies.
What To Do When Somebody Falls
Do not hurry a person. Place a chair near the individual's head and one at their feet.
• Ask the person to roll onto their side.
• Support the person whilst they kneel on both knees facing the chair.
• Place the other chair behind the person ready to sit on.
• Ask the person to use the seat of the chair to support them whilst they bring one leg forward placing their foot on the floor.
• If they can, ask them to push up to standing position and place the other chair behind them to sit on.
• The person should be able to do this on their own. Do not lift a person or ask the person to place their weight on their feet if they're in pain.
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- April 2nd 2019
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