Here are 10 ways to reduce the risk of falling when engaging in your normal everyday activities.
Firstly, it is important to note that the first thing anyone can do the ensure they are maintaining their mobility and safety around the house is to encourage walking when suitable and appropriate. After that there are several environmental and personal factors to look out for in the house which may be making it a higher risk for falls to occur.
Here are 10 ways to reduce the risk of falling when engaging in your normal everyday activities:
- Staying mentally active – it has been shown that cognition plays a key role in balance and risk of falling.
- Check you vision and hearing – ensuring our visual and vestibular (balance) systems are checked up on regularly will help to reduce the risk of falls.
- Environmental concerns – Review the household and make note of position of items which may prove to be a falls risk. These can include carpets, rugs, clutter, leads, poorly positioned furniture, seating etc.
- Assistive technology – falls alarm, sensors, bed alarms etc – there are several companies (both private and non-profit), who sell or provide falls alarms kits, sensors and alarms to ensure there is precautions taken to help reduce the risk of falls AND to be prepared in the case of someone falling.
- Footwear – ensuring you have well fitted shoes/slippers with good grip is vital to help reduce the risk of slipping/falling/
- Toileting – to ensure maximum safety when toileting there is a variety of toileting aids which may suit. These include stationary or mobile commode, raised toilet seat, toilet frame, toilet seat and frame combined, grab rails etc.
- Dressing – there are number of dressing aids which will help you to dress independently while reducing the risk of falling while in the process.
- Mobility – discussing your mobility with your local OT and/or physio can play a big part in reducing the risk of falls. The OT and Physio can liaise with you to decide whether you might require a walking stick, walking frame, rollator, tri-walker, wheelchair, or other mobility device. The OT and physio have knowledge on how to assess mobility safely and effectively and will work with equipment providers to get you the right piece of equipment for you.
- Seating – ensuring you are in a well fitted seat is vital in reducing the risk of falls (as well as a range of other benefits – postural management, digestion, respiratory system etc). Having a seat at the right height and/or having a rise and recliner will help make transfers on and off the chair safely.
- Lighting – ensuring there is sufficient lighting to and from the rooms when they are going to be accessed. An example of this would be to ensure there is a night light, or easily accessible light when walking to the bathroom at night-time.
As always, if you are unsure or would like some guidance – why not contact your local OT and ask for an assessment to take place. Following the assessment, they will assist you so that you are taking the necessary precautions and will also provide you with the most relevant advice and information for your own individual and unique situation.