Trips and falls are a serious concern for the elderly, with one’s mind only totally at ease if there is help close to hand, for instance from a professional Live-In Carer or Elderly Care professional or nurse.
Unfortunately, many falls result from poor hazard awareness and lack of knowledge of how to make sure the home is a safer environment. In many cases, fall prevention is about taking simple steps to deal with any dangers in the home, maximising you or your loved one’s independence. Every person, home and lifestyle is different, so make sure you seek specific, tailored, expert advice. But here are some essential precautions to think about…
Making your home safer
This is easier than you think. There are a lot of things that can and should be done to make things safer at home.
- Install a night light so you never have to get up in the dark,
- Have grab rails fitted, perhaps in a contrasting colour to enable easy sight,
- Secure any throw rugs to avoid slipping,
- Remove objects that are easy to trip over,
- Fit a few new electrical plugs at easy to reach heights.
These are a few of the things that might be needed to help make your haven as safe as possible.
Some measures might not be the most beautiful, but they will help you remain in your home in comfort. With the right help, safety measures can be sensitively designed and fitted, making them as pleasing as possible.
Gently increasing exercise as you can manage can help improve your balance and strength, which in turn can help you to avoid having a fall. Research has shown that exercise methods such as tai chi, strength and cardiovascular training can help to reduce falls.
Have regular check-ups and get your medications reviewed
Some medicines can interact badly with each other, causing dizziness and poor balance. Furthermore, sedatives and certain kinds of antidepressant medications can increase risks because they may make you feel woozy and less alert, or cause your blood pressure to drop when you’re standing up.
Be aware of the possible side effects of any medication you’re taking. Try to seek the lowest effective dosage. Remove any medicines you’re no longer using or those that are out of date – it’s easy to make a mistake in a hurry. Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum – it can interact with some medicines.
Watch what you eat
Food contributes to your overall health, and certain foods can either harm or help you in particular ways. For example, you should be wary of eating a lot of sugary foods – these can raise your blood sugar quickly, creating a ‘crash’ later on that may leave you lightheaded.
You should make sure you get enough calcium, important for good bone health. You can find plenty of it in foods such as milk, yoghurt, fish, cheese, shellfish, soybeans, tofu and some vegetables – for example broccoli and turnip greens. Good bone health means you are less likely to fall.
You can also find a good vitamin D supplement which can help your body to absorb the calcium. Our bodies also form vitamin D naturally when we are exposed to sunlight – another reason to get out for a little walk if at all feasible.
Wear the right shoes and get a walking aid
If you’re going to be as mobile as possible, then you need to make sure you have the right footwear. Be sure to wear flat-heeled shoes with soles that grip well – rubber may be a good choice. Shoes should be properly fitted too – the wrong fit can make it easier to fall.
A walking aid can be extremely useful outside, and possibly in the home too. Even one elegant walking cane can offer enough extra stability to avert a fall. On the other hand, if you have more severe walking problems, you may require something like a zimmer frame.
When the right support is in place, being at home with family close by can provide a level of comfort and reassurance that is invaluable. At Harley Street Care, we are experts in enabling the safety and wellbeing of our clients – whatever their level of mobility.
When you contact us, we can arrange for a dedicated senior nurse to visit you at home to provide an in-depth assessment of your needs. We make sure all our clients know when changes need to be made in the house and can help devise a nutritious eating plan, preparing fresh meals every day. We can arrange gentle exercise that is appropriate for your particular level of health. We’ll do everything we can to help keep you happy, and as healthy as possible.
To find out more about how we can help you, or to book your free assessment with our senior nurse, call 020 7989 0990.