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How can we minimise the risk of falls in the home?

Written by EmilyWhite

3 May 2019

Sometimes a second set of eyes is what is needed to help our loved ones make their home safer for everyday living.

We encourage you to help the person you care for to actively identify risks that could cause falls, and discuss an action plan to minimise potential risk factors in their home. It is a good idea to start the conversation with them describing what their normal day-to-day activities are, and if they have any concerns that might contribute to the risk of a fall.

There are a number factors that can contribute to the risk of falls occurring in the home. These can be categorised into environmental risks and individual risks. Let’s take a look into both to see where improvements can be made, and falls prevented.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS CAN INCLUDE:

  • Adequate lighting – are there some areas of the home that do not have adequate lighting? Especially consider around the outside of the home, around or near stairs, and lighting during the night time when they are moving between rooms. Installation of lights that turn on with movement can not only prevent a fall, but save on power bills in the long run.
  • Support rails – are there good hand rails installed near all steps inside and outside? Can rails be fitted in the bathroom, in the shower, near the toilet and bathtub, to aid in stability when moving around these slippery areas?
  • Flat floor surfaces – is the floor clear of all obstacles that could be a trip hazard? Tidy away cords, ensure that rugs don’t have wrinkles, and have backings that prevent them from sliding or moving on hard flooring.
  • Footwear and clothing – check that what the individual wears allows them to move easily, and not hinder walking or getting in and out of a chair?

INDIVIDUAL RISK FACTORS TO CONSIDER INCLUDE:

  • Balance and gait problems
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Multiple medications that can have adverse side effects?
  • Do they live alone and are they prone to social isolation?
  • Reduction in mobility

The fear of falling can be a delicate subject to discuss, but research has shown that a fear of falling is a key indicator of whether someone will fall. This fear can impact on their perception of their mobility. Activity, flexibility and strength training at a targeted and progressive level, will help to prevent falls from occurring.

If the person you care for is affected by some of the risk factors listed above, there are some technology aids that you could choose to protect them in the event of a fall, such as a fall detection pendant. Chiptech has fall detection technology built into two pendants, Pearl Advanced that works in and around the home, and GO, a mobile personal emergency system.

Chiptech fall detection pendants feature:

  • Automatic detection of a fall that summons help
  • 24/7 connection to emergency services
  • The fall algorithm uses sophisticated technology that looks for a free fall followed by a significant impact, minimising false activations.
  • Pearl Advanced is hot waterproof so able to be worn in the bath and shower.
  • If a fall is accidentally detected it can be cancelled by the wearer.
  • Button press for help in an emergency.

For more information please contact Chiptech info@chiptech.uk

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