July 15, 2024
Falls Prevention For Elderly

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury related hospitalization and death, and one of the main reasons for admission to complex care facilities.

Preventing falls is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Causes of Falls

– decreased vision
– taking unnecessary risks (eg. standing on stool reaching for items on top shelf when you have decreased balance)
– medication use can decrease balance, cause dizziness, drowsiness and other side effects that can lead to falls
– chronic illnesses can affect ones strength, endurance and balance
– fear of falling can actually lead to falls as people who are afraid of falling tend to be less active

Tips for Preventing Falls

– regular eye exams
– ensure proper lighting in home
– remove clutter in home
– ensure handrails on stairs
– wear sturdy shoes
– take medications as prescribed and talk to your doctor about side effects
– use support services (housekeeping, etc) if these activities are too much work for you
– maintain your strength, endurance and balance by staying active and listening to your body
– use a mobility aid if you have decreased balance, strength and endurance. It may be beneficial to be assessed by an occupational and/or physical therapist
– learn how to get up from the floor if you were to fall
– if you live alone, consider having an elderly medical alert system that you can use to call for assistance should you fall
– remove rugs and other tripping hazards in your home
– install safety equipment in bathroom (non slip mat, grab bars, etc)

How to Get up from a Fall

– locate a sturdy piece of furniture (chair, bed, desk)
– roll onto your side
– crawl to piece of furniture bringing mobility aid (if you have one)
– from kneeling position, put arms on to piece of furniture
– place strongest leg/foot on floor
– push up with arms/legs and sit down on furniture
– sit down, rest and call for assistance if you are injured