Elderly in Home Care safety can be a big issue if you don’t know the dangers and how to prevent falls.
Can you see all 14 safety problems in this image? A lot of these safety hazards could very easily cause someone to have a fall. So let’s take a closer look at the dangers this image portrays and how to prevent falls for the Elder and the entire community.
Home Safety, not just for Elders
Can you find all 14 safety issues?
Image source: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/index-eng.php
Let’s tick off all the problems in the image above:
- Stairs do not have a handrail
- Deactivated fire alarm
- Cloth on space heater
- Overloaded outlets
- Loose extension cords in traffic areas
- Smoking – cigarettes left unattended
- No automatic shut off on coffee maker
- Open bottles of medicine
- Loose rugs
- Outdated medicines
- Clutter on stair-case
- Flip-flop slippers
- Newspapers too close to lamp
- No handle on door
- No deadlocks on door
Did you find them all? If not, perhaps it has alerted you to some safety issues that may need attending to, in your own home or in the home of a Loved One.
Falls are one of the biggest safety issues for Elders and a major cause of injury
They are the leading cause of injury-related hospital admissions in people aged 65 years and over.
Falls are common among older people
It is estimated that at least one-third of people aged 65 years and over fall one or more times a year. Although many of these falls do not result in injury, they can cause:
- Hip and wrist fractures;
- Hip and shoulder dislocations;
- Head injuries and abrasions;
- Bruising and sprains;
- Fear of falling that can result in loss of confidence and restriction of activities.
Older people are almost 12 times more likely to have a fall than a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident.
Falls can be prevented
Contrary to popular belief, falls are not inevitable and many older people can be prevented from falling. Some risk factors for falls are relatively easy to change and where falls occur, the severity of injuries can be reduced. The first step is to ensure that if a person is feeling unsteady or has a fall, even one that does not cause an injury, an appointment is made to discuss this with a doctor.
To avoid falls and injuries from falls
- Exercise to improve your balance, strength and flexibility. Home or group exercise programs and Tai Chi are good examples.
- Wear shoes that are comfortable and fit well – they should be wide enough in the toe area, have low or no heels and have slip-resistant soles.
How to Improve home safety inside
- Have adequate lighting. Replace light globes with compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) energy efficient globes of 12 watts or higher. Use plug-in night-lights and have movement sensitive lights near stairs and the bathroom. These lights are available from most leading hardware stores.
- Remove clutter and make sure walkways and corridors are kept clear and well lit.
- Repair or replace carpets with worn areas, holes or long threads.
- Check that mats and rugs are secure and have no tears or wrinkles. Put adhesive strips on all mats and rugs, including those in the bathroom.
- Make sure that chairs and beds are sturdy and easy to get into and out of, and that tables and benches do not have sharp corners. Lounge room chairs should not be too low.
- Check that internal doors can be opened and closed properly, preferably without locks.
- Check that external doors can be locked and unlocked easily and are working properly.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Install grab rails in the bathroom (towel rails are not usually strong enough to use as grab rails).
- Store and use medications safely.
- To reduce the risk of falling in an emergency, make sure your house has smoke alarms in working order and a fire blanket or extinguisher that is easy to reach.
How to improve home safety outside
- Clear away garden tools;
- Kill mosses, fungi and lichen that make garden paths slippery when wet;
- Mark the leading edge of outside steps (for example, with white paint) so they are easy to see;
- Make sure outside steps are well lit;
- Keep paths well swept;
- Repair broken, uneven or cracked paths, patios and other walking surfaces;
- Wear sunglasses and a hat to reduce sun glare;
- Install a hand rail next to steps, to hang on to.
To maximise physical wellbeing to staying healthy
- Talk to your doctor or other health professionals about your diet, managing your medications (including non-prescription ones), and ways to manage chronic medical conditions, including dizziness and incontinence, to reduce risks of falling
- Have your eyes tested annually
- Visit your podiatrist regularly to minimise foot problems
Things to remember
- Falls are a major cause of injury for older people.
- Falls may be an indicator of deteriorating health.
- Exercising can help maintain strength (muscle and bone) and balance.
- Taking precautions in and around the home can help you avoid falls and injuries from falls.
- Monitoring or personal alert systems or services can give older people independence and peace of mind.
For more information, visit https://daughterlycare.com.au/reduce-falls-in-elders-by-31
Where to get help
- Daughterly Care Caregivers know how to reduce falls
- Your local doctor or health professional
- Falls and Mobility Clinics – contact your regional Department of Human Services office
- Commonwealth Carelink Centres Tel. 1800 052 222
Ways Daughterly Care can help keep your loved one safe
To make sure your loved one is safe on outings or attending appointments, contact to arrange in home care services either on an Hourly basis or a Live In Care basis. Our Live In care service is a great way to ensure the safety of your loved one. Our experienced in home Caregivers stay in the home for a period of between 3 – 4 days at a time. This is a premium care service and provides the ultimate in home safety.
If you would like a no obligation, free in home consultation to discuss your care personal needs, call us today on 9970 7333.
For more information on falls take a look at these pages.
Preventing falls in the home
How to reduce falls in Elders by 31%
Elders Can Regain Confidence After A Fall with In Home Care
SA Coroner’s health warning about Elders falls in Nursing Homes
Elder Care Myth No.1- You HAVE to go to a Nursing Home