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Fall Prevention For The Elderly

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What Can The Elderly Do To Prevent Falls?

As time goes by, you may find yourself becoming a little unsteady on your feet, which can lead to falls. It is important to make sure that this is prevented as it can lead to serious injuries, especially if you are an older person.

There are many ways to prevent falls and avoid a trip to the hospital. These include looking after your overall health and getting enough sleep. Naturally, with time, our health will change, but here are some of the ways you can lower the risk of accidents.


Stay Active

It is important to keep active, regardless of your age. According to the NHS, “doing regular strength exercises can improve your strength and balance and reduce your risk of having a fall.” Exercises can include walking around the block, a bit of dancing or swimming.

Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. You may be doing it without even noticing, such as vacuuming the house, getting up to make a cuppa or making your bed. Staying active also helps with your mental upkeep and can prevent the risk of diabetes and heart disease.


Eat Well

Does this sound familiar? ‘Make sure you have your greens’ or ‘have you had your five a day?’ As we grow older, we tend to lose our appetite, but you need to continue to eat the right foods, so you can maintain your energy and strength. A healthy diet also helps to strengthen joints, muscles and bones. More importantly, according to Eat Well Nutrition, “nutrition is a determining factor in not only the severity of injuries from falls but also recovery time after the injury.”

If you feel you can’t eat three full meals, try and eat little and often throughout the day. Make sure you eat a range of nutritious foods, including dairy, fruits, vegetables and nuts.


Remain Hydrated

Dehydration is a common condition amongst older adults. Older adults are at a higher risk of dehydration, as they have a lower percentage of water in their bodies. If it’s not treated properly, it can lead to confusion, weakness and light headedness. These are factors that can increase the risk of falling. It is recommended to drink up to six to eight glasses of fluids. So, this can be a mixture of water, fruit juices and even soups.


Prioritise Eye & Ear Health

Your eyesight and hearing can have an impact on your balance, so it’s important to ensure you get this checked regularly, every two years – at least.

It is important to keep your eyes healthy as vision problems can cause falls, accidents and have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. As we age, our vision may decline, with some people needing cataract surgery. Therefore, it is vital to prioritise your eye health. Eating the right foods can also help to preserve your eyesight. According to Optimax, foods such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes and dark chocolate can help with the overall health of your eyes.


Manage Medication

When taking medication, it is important to ensure you are aware of the side effects, as some can cause dizziness and drowsiness. If you find you are experiencing any side effects, it is important to contact your GP as soon as possible.


Support Bone Health

If you have a fall or accident, having strong bones can help with your recovery, as injuries can be less serious. Vitamin D is probably the best way to support bone health. A good source of vitamin D is sunlight. But you can also get these nutrients from foods, including salmon, mushrooms and spinach. You can even get access to vitamin supplements, but make sure you consult your GP before taking any.


Choose The Right Footwear

Having the right footwear can influence your balance and the way you walk. According to the NHS, “wearing well-fitted shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle” can help prevent the risk of falling or tripping. It is also important to ensure that your shoes have a good grip and try to avoid walking indoors barefoot. It is better to wear slippers around the house and make sure they fit well.


How Else Can Falls Be Prevented At Home?

Home is where many of us spend most of our time. So, it’s essential that we are safe in the place we love most. There are many ways to help prevent the risks of falling, such as making small changes like using non-slip mats and making sure your rooms are well lit so you are aware of your surroundings. Here are a few adaptations that you can make.  If you can’t do this yourself, get a friend or family member to help you:


Home Adaptations

  • Ensure that your rooms and hallways are well lit, so you can see where you are walking.
  • It may be worth getting a bedside lamp too, which is easy to reach.
  • Install handrails to help you walk up and down the stairs
  • Handrails in the bathroom can also help you with getting out of the bathtub or shower.
  • Place a non-slip mat on the bathroom floor or in the bathtub. This will help you from slipping on wet surfaces.

Removing Trip Hazards

  • Make sure your home is tidy and free from clutter.
  • Ensure rugs and mats are fitted with double-sided tape
  • Clean up spillages as soon as you can
  • Avoid walking around indoors with bare feet, tights or socks. Wear slippers that have a good grip
  • If you like to spend time in the garden, make sure pathways are clear from leaves and plants

 


Get Regular elderly care from Helping Hands

At Helping Hands we have been providing elderly care since 1989, so we truly know what it takes to care for you or your loved one. Our amazing carers are fully trained to provide you with person-centred care and ensure that all your requirements are met. We also make sure that you are always supported and are safe in your home, as your safety is our number one priority.

Our friendly and compassionate careers will support you with cooking, personal care, and assist you with your mobility and moving around your home, safely. Whether you choose visiting care or live-in care, we promise to provide you with a high-quality service.

To arrange elderly care with Helping Hands, call our customer care team today. Or you can contact us via our website and request a callback.


Page reviewed by Deanna Lane, Senior Clinical Lead on April 11, 2022

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