12 Top Tips for Preventing Falls in Your Home
Falls in older age can have serious consequences. At Bluebird Care Bromley, we're dedicated to helping our customers live safely in their own homes, that's why we've compiled a handy guide to fall-proofing your home.As we age, we’re more prone to falling over. Muscle and bone weakness, sensory and cognitive impairments, side-effects from medication and conditions which affect balance tend to be more common in older people, all of which can make people a bit more unsteady on their feet.
Figures from the NHS show that almost a third of adults living at home over the age of 65 will fall at least once a year. Of course, not all falls will be serious, but any tumble has the potential to cause harm. In fact, for people over the age of 75, falls are responsible for most injury related deaths.
How to Fall-Proof Your Home
As quality homecare providers, we’re used to assessing fall risks within a home and making sure that our customers’ living environments are as safe as they can be. So, we thought we’d share a few top tips on what you can do to reduce the risk of falling in your own home.
- Make sure your home is well-lit – if you can’t see what’s under your feet, you’re far more likely to trip over, particularly in areas where there are steps. Make sure you have enough light, they’re easily accessible and have bright enough bulbs to illuminate the area well.
- Install handrails and frames – if you have trouble climbing stairs, getting up and down from the toilet or in and out of the bath, support frames and handrails will help you keep your balance and feel more secure.
- Use walking aids – it’s easy to convince yourself you don’t need your stick or frame just to pop into the next room, but if you need one when you’re out and about, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Use it at home too.
- Get rid of clutter – leaving things like shoes, newspapers or clothes lying around on the floor will increase the likelihood of you getting tripped up.
- Know where your pets are – pets have an uncanny ability to sneak up and get under your feet when you least expect it. Get into the habit of taking a quick glance down before you move, so you don’t take a tumble over the cat!
- Fix your flooring – use non-slip flooring where possible (especially on floors that may get wet). Make sure carpets are flat and firmly fixed (particularly where they join between rooms) and avoid having rugs on the floor. If you don’t want to part with a precious rug, make sure you have grips or adhesive strips on the back to secure them in place and stop the corners rolling up.
- Check your footwear – badly-fitting or worn shoes and slippers with non-grip soles are responsible for many accidents in the home. Make sure your footwear fits and has sufficient grip. Try not to walk on slippery or wet surfaces in bare feet either.
- Only carry what you can - don’t carry any objects that make you put down a walking aid or that are big enough to block your view of where you’re going. If you can’t see your feet, get help from someone else!
- Keep a torch handy – having a torch by your bed or armchair can be very handy if there’s a power cut and help reduce the risk of you falling in the dark.
- Watch your wiring – electrical cables are everywhere in our homes these days. Just make sure they’re out of the way or fixed to the skiting or walls to prevent them snagging your feet.
- Use the right furniture – make sure your chairs, sofas and bed are the appropriate height for you to get in and out of without struggling or over-balancing. If your current furniture needs adjusting, there are plenty of leg-raising devices or bolster cushions available to make it safer.
- Keep things within reach – if you use something often, leave it somewhere easily accessible. If you need to retrieve something from a more inaccessible place, a grabbing tool comes in very handy and means you won’t have to take the risk of leaning too far or standing on a chair to reach.
Quality Care at Home – Keeping our Customers Safe
At Bluebird Care Bromley, our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our customers. We’re here to help make life better for everyone in our care, so if you’d like to talk to us about how our homecare could support you live in a safer home environment, get in touch. Our friendly team are always here to help, just give us a call on 020 8315 0236 or fill out our online contact form.
For more information about falls prevention, you can visit the NHS and AgeUK websites.