Managing diseases and taking appropriate precautions can stop the elderly from falling
Here are some fall prevention tips for caregivers:
Manage existing medical conditions
Manage the elderly person’s existing medical conditions and make sure that he or she takes all medication on time. Keeping chronic diseases under control can help to prevent falls.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Encourage the elderly to eat a balanced diet with adequate calcium. A healthy lifestyle should also include regular exercise to strengthen muscles and boost joint mobility and balance.
Provide a suitable walking aid
Ensure that the elderly person is helped when walking, whether it is with human support or a walking aid, such as a cane or a walker. A doctor or physiotherapist can recommend a suitable aid.
Choose the right footwear
Encourage seniors to wear the right footwear, such as flat shoes with rubber or non-skid soles to prevent falls. A good shoe should have:
- A thin, firm mid-sole so they can feel the ground beneath
- An adequately large toe box for foot support
- A firm heel counter to give support and stability
- Good support for the ankle to keep the foot in place
- A broad, low heel to maximise contact with the ground
- A non-slip, textured sole to prevent slipping
Discourage bad habits
Encourage seniors to cut down on or give up alcohol and smoking. These habits are linked to conditions like osteoporosis, which can increase the risk of falls.
Take precautions to ensure that the home environment is safe. Make sure that :
- Frequently used areas are well lit
- Place electrical wiring along walls
- Install a horizontal grab bar (at wrist height when standing) next to the toilet
- Keep floors dry
- Have easy-to-reach light switches
- Install a cordless alarm bell so seniors can get help when needed
What you should do if a senior falls