Falls and Fall Prevention

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Preventing Falls and Staying Safe

Understanding Fall Risks

Frequent Occurrence: Falls happen to everyone occasionally, but some groups, like the elderly or disabled, are more susceptible.

Risk Reduction: While falls can't always be avoided, their risks can be mitigated.

Identifying Fall Causes

Before addressing how to respond to a fall, it's crucial to understand what factors can lead to falls:

  • Past Falls: Individuals with a history of falls in the last 12 months are at higher risk.
  • Balance and Ear Issues: Problems with balance or inner ear conditions increase the risk.
  • Fear of Falling: Psychological factors like fear can contribute to falls.
  • Mental Health: Certain mental health conditions can impact coordination and balance.
  • Medications: Some medications can affect vision, balance, or cause dizziness. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects.

Regular Medication Reviews: Ensure your doctor reviews your medications every 6 months.

Healthy Diet: Maintain a balanced diet to avoid dizziness due to low sugar levels.

Eye and Hearing Care: Regularly wear glasses and hearing aids if necessary. Ensure well-lit surroundings to enhance safety.

Pet Safety: Keep an eye on pets and their toys to prevent tripping hazards.

Footwear and Clothing

Footwear: Choose well-fitting shoes with intact soles and secure fastenings for better grip and stability.

Footwear Tips: Avoid wearing only socks, as they increase slip risk. Bare feet offer better grip.

Clothing Concerns: Wear properly fitting attire to prevent tripping. Loose clothing can snag on objects or handles.

Home Safety

Household Hazards: Be cautious of loose rugs, mats, damaged carpets, or items on the floor.

Nighttime Care: Use adequate lighting, especially during nighttime bathroom trips.

Mobility Aids

Aid Maintenance: Ensure your walking aids (sticks, crutches, frames) are well-maintained with functional rubber ends.

Regular Checks: Daily rubber checks are crucial to avoid potential slips or falls.

Seeking Guidance: Consult your doctor or hospital for mobility aid adjustments or replacements.

Responding to Falls

Stay Calm: In case of a fall, avoid panicking and hastily attempting to get up.

Assess the Situation: Understand why you fell to prevent future incidents.

Getting Up Safely: Roll onto hands and knees, crawl to furniture for support when trying to stand.

Seek Help: If unable to rise, use emergency pendants, call bells, or shout for assistance.

Stay Warm and Hydrated: If unable to move, stay warm, keep hydrated, and use cushions for comfort.

Managing Accidents: Deal with any accidents like urination by moving away from the area and using absorbent materials.

Common Sense and Communication

Exercise Common Sense: While much of this advice is common sense, rushing can lead to accidents.

Communicate: Inform someone if you've fallen or experience dizziness, so they can help you reduce risks or seek medical attention.