Stop the falls! Is an article prepared by our very own Occupational & Physiotherapist Assistant Vi Nguyen. In the article, Vi writes about different methods residents can use to prevent themselves from falling to the ground. The article also gives statistics and facts about the severe injuries that a fall can have on your body. Since falls are the cause of 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations, it is important to read her article and fully understand everything you can do to prevent these serious falls. In this blog, I will be going over some of the most interesting facts and guidelines to use to prevent seniors from falling.
1. Wear safe footwear.
The first point that Vi mentions in her article is to make sure all seniors are wearing well-fitted footwear to improve their walking and balance. Some footwear such as slippers or flip-fops can cause tripping since they are not as stable as regular shoes. It is always important to wear properly fitted shoes, and make sure your shoes are always new. Old shoes do not work as well since they tend to lose their grip.
2. Use assistive devices.
The second point that Vi mentions is to use proper walking devices such as walkers and canes for more balance and support. This is an excellent point because sometimes seniors tend to walk without their walkers or canes, causing them to fall over. If your doctor or physiotherapists tells you to use a cane or a walker to walk, always make sure you use them when you walk. One little mistake can lead to a plethora of problems.
3. Ensure adequate lighting.
Not a lot of people think about point number three. Vi mentions in her article that poor lighting can increase the risk of slips and falls because of the lack of visibility from the senior. In a senior is walking in a room with poor lighting, the chances of them bumping into furniture or tripping over something on the ground is very likely. Also make sure you have a night-light on during the night, and make sure you have your windows opened/lights on during the day.
4. Reduce tripping hazards.
Vi makes a lot of great points in her article about falling, and number four is an important point. Reduce the risk of tripping by cleaning up spills immediately, keeping your pathway free of clutter, or even replace all your rugs to non-slip rugs/mats. It is extremely important to make sure your room is clean and safe from clutter. Some of the most important parts/rooms in the house to make sure is cleared from clutter are the bathroom, the bedroom, the kitchen and the staircase.
5. Stay physically active.
The last point that Vi mentions in her article is to make sure seniors stay physically active. Exercising is the key to prevent falls. Exercising can improve muscle strength, bone density, and joint health. In fact, inactivity creates an even higher risk of fall, as it can lead to muscle loss, joint stiffness and poor balance. Stay active and prevent falls!
These five tips from Vi will prevent you from falling over. Remember, falls are the cause of 95% of hip-fractures and 50% of all falls happen in your own home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Vi Nguyen for putting together this excellent article about fall prevention. Following these five tips will help you stop the falls and could save your life.