Autumnaged Care

The top 10 tips for fall prevention

Autumnaged Care

The top 10 tips for fall prevention

Aged care Mornington Peninsula provider Autumn Aged Care says falls are a serious problem for older people, and their prevention is a key focus in all types of care at Autumn Aged Care.

Around 30 per cent of adults over the age of 65 experience at least one fall per year. With Australia’s ageing population, that rate is only likely to go higher.

Up to 32 per cent of older people who fall will suffer a fracture, but falls can also result in decreased independence, functional decline, anxiety, and even death

A fall is often the incident that precipitates an older person moving into aged care. Up to half of all aged care residents fall at least once a year.

 

Why do older people fall more often?

What happens to our bodies as we age makes us more susceptible to falling.

For example, older people are more likely to have a chronic health condition, such as heart disease, dementia, low blood pressure, arthritis, or osteoporosis.

Older people are also more likely to have physical impairments that make us more likely to fall, such as poor vision, muscle weakness, or stiff joints.

 

What can we do to prevent falls?

What are experts telling us about the best ways to prevent falls among older people?

  1. Modify your environment:
    • Install handrails in the bathroom and around the entrance ways.
    • Mark out the edge of steps to make sure they are easy to see.
    • Keep pathways even and in good condition.
    • Replace worn mats and remove trip hazards such as rugs.
    • Ensure you have adequate lighting around your home, and that floors aren’t slippery.
  2. Make sure you are eating nutritious food and drinking plenty of fluids to keep your body healthy and to ensure you have plenty of energy.
  3. Don’t walk around in socks or ill-fitting shoes or slippers.
  4. Wipe up spills immediately.
  5. Avoid ladders and footstools.
  6. Take medication only as required. See your doctor if your medication is creating side effects such as dizziness.
  7. Have your eyes tested annually
  8. Wear hip protectors or a personal alarm if you are worried about falling.
  9. Exercise. Research has shown that exercise programs can reduce the number of falls by 23 per cent. Exercises that target balance and functional performance, such as sitting down and getting up from a chair, reaching, and stepping, have the strongest evidence of effectiveness.
  10. Take up Tai Chi, it’s good for strength and flexibility, and it’s also relaxing and fun.

By following these steps we can reduce the risk that older people will fall, and we can thereby help to preserve their good health, independence and quality of life for longer.

 

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