Falls are the most common cause of fatal injury to the aged and sick.
Why do falls happen?
- Person is weak, tired or ill
- Person is not physically fit
- Person may have problems seeing
- Slippery or wet floors or stairs
- Obstructed pathways
- Medicines may cause weakness, sleepiness, confusion or dizziness
How to reduce your risk of falling
What you can do:
- Change position slowly. It is best to get up from a chair or bed slowly and turn your head slowly to avoid dizziness
- Don’t Hurry
- Wear your glasses and/or hearing aid if you need them to see and/or to hear
- Turn on lights especially in stairways and hallways
- Wear proper fitting shoes with rubber bottom
- Keep your personal items within reach
- Ask if the medications you are taking may increase your risk of falling
- If you are attached to any equipment, call for assistance to get out of bed
- If you use a cane or walker make sure it is within reach
- Do not lean on the bed side table or any movable equipment for support.
- If you are sleepy, dizzy, or weak call for assistance before trying to get up
Fix your living area:
- Non-slip bathmats / Install hand rails
- Keep bed in appropriate position for safe entry and exit.
- Tack down the edges of carpets and rugs; remove loose rugs
- Have ample lighting without glare / use nightlights
- Clear up clutter
Caregivers should consider:
- Carefully toilet all confused or frail patients proactively and frequently, especially when receiving diuretics and/or laxatives
- Consider commode use
- Consider the use of bed monitors/alarms for those at higher levels of risk
- Supervised walking and transfers
- Consider balance and gait training / strength training
If your loved one is living in an assisted living or nursing facility:
- Help them become familiar with their surroundings
- If confused – ask to have them moved closer to the nursing station.