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Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Falling

In healthcare,  we take falling over really seriously as it has such huge consequences on our  health and wellbeing.  Many of us have fallen in the past or have parents or grandparents who have fall and see the huge impact it has on their life.  Today we highlight some simple things you can do to help prevent falls.

Firstly and very importantly you must go to see your GP.   They will want to do some simple checks to see if there is an underlying cause of your fall.

Your GP may,

  • Take your blood pressure lying and in standing to see if your blood pressure drops when you rise. This could be the cause of why you fall over
  • Do an ECG. A simply heart monitor test may reveal some irregularities which could be causing your falls.
  • Refer you to Physiotherapy for some balance, strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Refer you to Occupational Therapy to get your home assessed. These guys will be able to make adaptations to your home to make moving around and functional tasks much easier. They may raise the height of your chairs and toilet seat to make standing up and sitting down easier. They might move rugs out of the way or add handles and rails to baths, showers or stairs.
  • Recommend you have your sight tested
  • Speak about various options of support you may be able to get to help you
  • Review your medicines as some of the side effects could be causing your falls

There are several simple things you can do in the home to help prevent falling. By removing potential hazards from your home it can help lots.

Here are a few things you can do to get safe at home:

  • Ensure you have good lighting on stairs and around the house
  • Remove any rugs as the sides of the rugs are such a common fall hazard
  • Make sure bathroom mats are non-slip and have grips on the bottom
  • Remove clutter from around your house
  • Avoid polishing floor surfaces as this will make them more slippery
  • Have a night light in your bathroom and bed side light in case you need to get up for the loo in the middle of the night
  • Clear any trailing flexes from the floor or at least ensure they are around the edges of the room and not across your path of movement
  • Have hand rails on both sides of the stairs
  • If you have a cat or a dog have a bell on their collar so you can hear where they are. It is very easy for them to get under your feet!
  • Keep your garden paths as regular as possible. Uneven surfaces can be really tricky is you are unsteady on your feet. Also make sure they are free of moss.
  • Get hand rails fitted along your garden path
  • If you need things moving or light please get some help
  • If you use a step ladder to reach high places please ask someone to be there when you do it and definitely don’t use a chair

The aim with all this advice isn’t to stop you doing things.  Maintaining independence is crucial to your  overall wellbeing.  The aim is to ensure hazards are minimised and things are in place to make tasks easier and support you.  There are so many devices out there to help around the home.  Have a look at Age UK Mobility Aids website. (https://www.ageukmobilityaids.co.uk).

Making things easier isn’t a bad thing or giving in.  It enables you to maintain independence.  Why struggle?  What is the benefit in that?  If you need any advice or guidance please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Finally for further advice on making things easier around the house, check out this page from AgeUK. (http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/adapting-your-home/ways-to-make-tasks-easier-around-the-home/)

I will be writing shortly about some excellent online resources to help you and your family too so stay tuned!