Prevent slips, trips, and falls
for the elderly [a guide]

As you get older, falling over can become a fear. If you’ve ever been hurt by a fall, or know someone who has, it isn’t just you. People who are older are more susceptible to trips and slips, and sometimes this can be intimidating enough that they become isolated by their fear of falling. This is what we don’t want to happen! There are ways to decrease your likelihood of falling, ensuring you feel safe when alone in your home.

Staying active:

If you allow the fear of falling to overcome you, there’s a risk that you could become isolated within your home, rarely experiencing your surroundings. There are so many benefits of staying active, such as:

Physical benefits

Physical activity outside of the home can help you live a healthy lifestyle. The gentle exercise of walking will keep your muscles strong and help your lungs by taking in fresh air.

Social
interaction

Staying active when away from home could increase your social interactions. It’s important to keep your mind stimulated as well as your body.

Mental
health

Light exercise has been shown to improve mental health. While avoiding falls might be important to you, looking after your mind should be too! Exercise lessens negative moods and improves self-esteem.

Confidence

The more you go on successful walks away from your home, the more confidence you will have that you can do so without falling. Building up the belief that you are stable on your feet is important.

What can

There are a range of factors that can cause falls amongst older people. It could be a good idea to try and identify why you might fall in the first place. This will indicate what steps you need to take to reduce the risk of falls! These are some of the common causes of slips and trips to be aware of:

  • Bad eyesight
  • Hearing
  • Slow reflexes
  • Medical conditions (diabetes, chronic pain)
  • Side effects from medications
  • Unsafe footwear (badly fitting shoes, worn slippers)
  • Confusion or brain fog (caused by dementia, for example)
  • Safety hazards, such as items blocking a pathway
  • Rushing – moving too quickly
  • Loose or trailing clothing

How can you

There are multiple precautions you can take in order to prevent falls. The risk of falling can be scary, which is why taking control of the situation is often empowering! You could think about…

Your nutrition
and hydration

Your diet and hydration levels play a significant role in keeping yourself free from trips and falls. Drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet can increase your balance, making you more stable when you are walking.

Getting a sight
and hearing test

Making sure that you can see and hear as clearly as possible is an easy way of avoiding a fall. This will make you safer inside and outside of your home and can also increase your quality of life.

Stay
active

Staying active and undertaking frequent gentle exercises will improve your strength and balance. With core and leg strength, you are much more likely to be stable on your feet. Plus, exercise also keeps you fit.

Wear the
right shoes

Be conscious of your footwear. Shoes that have a low heel and firm, slip-resistant soles will be the best for preventing falls. These ensure that you have enough grip on the ground, decreasing the risk of slipping.

Keep your
bones strong

If you do fall, bone strength is very important as it can protect you from fractures and breaks. Calcium and vitamin D are great for helping bone strength, but you should consult your doctor for advice.

Invest in
walking aids

Equipment such as a walking stick, a rollator, or a knee walker can assist you in your journeys. These can support your weight and make your walking experience easier, giving you more stability so you can avoid a fall.

preventing falls?

Home care can help you make sure your house has been set up to avoid tripping. Your trustworthy care worker can ensure that all the passageways are clear, with items stored on the far side of each wall. They will also be able to assess whether you need grab rails or ramps leading up to your home and can assist you in their installation if required. Crucially, they will ensure that your walking aids are kept within reach. At-home care can consist of anything you need it to, ensuring that you are supported in every area of your lifestyle.

At Verilife, our care workers are experienced in every aspect of home care. We prioritise your comfort, offering you the services which will benefit you most. To get in touch, email hello@verilife.co.uk or call 020 3141 9290.

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