Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls at Home

Posted on 4th April, 2024

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe and comfortable in their own home – whether they’re receiving care or not. According to the NHS, falls at home can cause serious injury, particularly amongst the elderly, but often be overlooked. One in three adults over the age of 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year.

Slips, trips, and falls are more likely to occur due to factors such as wet and icy surfaces, and the cold which can affect mobility. When visiting family, it may be worth looking at the home environment and assessing the risk factors that can affect your loved one’s safety. Preventing slips, trips, and falls in the home can be made easier by being aware of several environmental and health-related hazards

Things to look out for…

Around the house

Poor lighting, trailing wires, chairs, and beds that are too high or too low down, lots of clutter, lack of safety rails, loose rugs, uneven or slippery surfaces, and even pets all pose potential hazards.

Shoes that offer little support or grip can be a risk factor, check the comfort and fitting of clothing & shoes

It may be worth contacting the Occupational Therapist if your loved one finds it difficult to stand up or sit down. The Therapist can assess and easily resolve with the correct equipment, e.g. bed/chair raisers.

Health conditions

Certain medications and a  number of health conditions, such as osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, poor vision, auditory impairment, continence problems, UTIs, dizziness, and cognitive impairment, can all affect mobility and increase the risk of falling.

What can I do to support my loved one?

A fall can be life-changing for an older person or an individual with a particular health condition. Physical pain and discomfort, long-term disability, decreased mobility, loss of confidence, and fear of falling again can all have an enormous impact on someone’s life – but by reducing risks, they can be prevented.

Check your loved one’s home environment is free from obstacles and that furniture, rugs, and wires don’t obstruct routes from room to room. Pay particular attention to areas that may be used in the dark – like the hallway between the bedroom and the bathroom.

Help your loved ones to prevent or treat osteoporosis by helping with a meal plan of ingredients rich in calcium and vitamin D, essential for healthy bones. Regular, gentle exercise is also fundamental – family walks, or swimming can help with mobility and also as an added promote good mental health.

So next time you visit your loved one take a few moments to walk around the house to spot any hazards and put in place things to overcome the risk of slips trips and falls.

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