Private and fully personalised home care in London

Phone Number: 02035 194 718

Email Us:

What is Fall Prevention at Home

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Fall Prevention, Home Safety, Elderly Care at Home
  • Posted date:
  • 23-10-2020
What is Fall Prevention at Home

Are you concerned about fall prevention at home? We look at ways that you can address the problem of falls in the home for elderly or vulnerable people.

Falls are Common Among Older People

Among those aged 65 and over, it is estimated that around 33% suffer from one or more falls each year. While most of these falls only result in minor injury, they can sometimes cause complications.

There can also be more severe consequences of a fall, particularly for those older people who are pretty vulnerable or have specific conditions. An example of some common injuries sustained in the event of a fall by older people include:

Wrist or hip fractures 

Lowered confidence, especially for those who suffer falls regularly and are not as sure-footed as they used to be, creating a fear of falling.

Injuries suffered by the head, scrapes and abrasions

Formation of bruises or spraining of joints

Dislocations of the hip or shoulder

Formation of bruises or spraining of joints

As expected, most of the body affected by people who have fallen are those used to break falls, such as the wrists and hips. 

However, depending on the severity of the fall, serious damage may be done to other related body parts, such as the joints, as they take the impact of the fall. 

For those who are not as strong as they used to be, injuries to the head and other parts of the body can be common, as they cannot break their fall successfully. 

In addition, older people are more likely to fall than motorists are to get into an accident, proving how much of a concern these injuries can be if regularly sustained. 

Understanding the Risks of Falls

What Causes People to Fall?

Temporary or short-term infections and illnesses, such as flu, can also increase your risk of falls through the duration of the infection. In addition, if you have recently had surgery and have returned home from the hospital, you may also suffer from a temporarily increased risk of falls while you recover.

A wide range of changes in the body affects people's potential for suffering from falls as they grow older. A selection of these changes could include:

As you get older, your sight will naturally deteriorate, and you may develop a loss of touch, which can make mobility increasingly tricky.

A weakening of your muscles and increased stiffness in your joints can also make you more prone to falls.

Developing and progressive health issues.

Medications you could be taking and their side effects. This is increasingly likely if you take five or more different types of medication.

Developing issues with your senses or balance.

Lack of physical exercise, which ties in with muscles weakness

Having an unbalanced or nutritionally deficient diet and dehydration.

Lack of calcium, which, in turn, increases your risk of broken bones should you suffer a fall.

Lack of feeling in, or sore, feet, especially when wearing inadequate footwear.

Having hazards around your home such as mats or rugs, having multiple levels or uneven surfaces, and poor visibility or lighting.

Ways to Prevent Falls at Home

Given that most falls suffered by older people occur in the home, this is the first place you should start when thinking of fall prevention measures. However, you do not have to change absolutely everything, and with a few minor adjustments, you can make your home that little bit safer:


Clean Up Clutter 

This is the easiest thing you can do to ensure safety in your own home. Keeping things tidy and free from clutter can reduce the risk that you will trip over something. This is especially important on stairs, given that a fall here could be significantly worse.


Repair or Remove Tripping Hazards 

This can be as easy as ensuring that your carpets and rugs are not bunching up or repairing any floorboards that you could trip over. Ensuring that there is nothing to trip over is the best way to limit the risk of falls.


Install grab bars and handrails

These can be fixed to most surfaces and are particularly helpful when climbing in and out of the bath or shower and helping you up and down the stairs. Being able to support yourself while getting around the house is essential to help you avoid falls. 


Avoid Wearing Loose Clothing 

While loose clothing may be more comfortable to wear, it can pose a significant tripping hazard in your home. It would be best if you opted instead for well-fitting clothes that are hemmed correctly. Avoiding clothes that hang too loosely or drag along the floor is an excellent way of increasing fall prevention. 


Light It Right

Having your home poorly lit is another way in which falls can occur. For those who are elderly and may have deteriorating eyesight, they must light their homes brightly. This is especially important for stairways or narrow areas where visibility may be inadequate. You can also install night lights to help you get around when it's dark.


Wear Shoes

Just like loose clothing, it can be more comfortable, but just as risky, to walk around your house wearing socks. This significantly increases the risk of slips and falls, and you should wear shoes instead when moving around the house. The shoes you wear should also be appropriate and not dangerous - high heels are a definite no. There is also the option of wearing non-slip socks with gripping soles on the bottom for greater comfort. 


Make It Non-slip

You can easily install non-slip mats on all surfaces that pose a falling threat. These could include your bathtub, shower and bathroom floor that can become incredibly slippery when wet. You may also think of placing them in porchways or other outside areas that can become slippery in the rain. 


Live on One Level

Given the threat to trips and falls that stairs can present, it is often advisable to live on one level if you can. If it is not possible for you to limit your living space to one level, you should take extra care when going up and down the stairs. You may also want to limit the trips you take up and down the stairs to create greater fall prevention measures. 


Move More Carefully

Another potential risk of falling is moving too quickly from sitting to standing positions and the other way round. You can mitigate these risks very easily by simply taking your time when moving around your home. For example, taking a brief moment to pause and collect yourself before lifting yourself out of bed or a chair can be an easy remedy to these potential fall risks. It can also help if you take one of these recollecting pauses before venturing up and down the stairs to make sure that you can do it safely. 

How can I maintain strength and balance?

Conducting regular physical activity and moving around while tying in a few specific strength and dexterity exercises throughout the day can be a brilliant way to help you maintain your strength and balance. In turn, by improving these two elements of your body and remaining active, you will also be able to reduce your risk of any falls and injuries. 

Having an adequately formulated exercise plan, with exercises that progressively become more challenging as you work through them, can provide untold benefits when maintaining strength and balance. 

But aside from hiring a professional trainer or a medical occupational therapist to create an exercise regiment for you, there are several things you can do on your own to help improve your strength and balance. These can be done either sitting or standing, requiring no exercise equipment and could be as easy as walking in the nearby local area.

These exercises include things as easy as standing up and sitting down in a chair as practice and strengthening your knees and legs to get yourself out of your chair. You can also perform heel raises (going up and down on your tiptoes) to further strengthen your leg muscles. 

Other small exercises include practising turning to the left and right and swinging your legs while standing. These can help massively with dexterity and balance to further mitigate the risks of you falling over. 

If you are concerned about fall prevention at home, we hope this information has been useful to you.

We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from care at home.