A Fall Prevention Guide for Irish Seniors
Helping Keep Irish Seniors safe in their Homes as they Age
The bottom line:
- As we age, our changing bodies mean we’re more likely to fall and injure ourselves.
- Falls can cause long-lasting damage, reduce a senior’s quality of life, and take its toll on our health service.
- Many steps can be taken to prevent falls, which is why Ageing in Place has put together a Fall Prevention Guide for Irish Seniors to support older adults and their caregivers in reducing their risk of falls.
The Importance of Preventing Falls
Did you know that our balance decreases with age? This, among other factors, means we’re all the more likely to fall, and therefore all the more likely to injure ourselves. In fact, significant injury associated with falls in older people include fractures (45%), head trauma (22%), abrasions, lacerations, or contusions (34%), which could all result in long recovery times even chronic pain. The potentially devastating, lasting effects of a single fall means they could reduce a senior’s quality of life. And the less active you are, the more likely you are to fall again – a vicious cycle.
What’s more, as the population of Ireland ages, the problem of falls among the elderly is also increasing – by no less than 26% per 1000 population for people aged 75 years or older – steadily putting a strain on the health system as we struggle to care for those injured from a fall.
Our Fall Prevention Guide
Want to hear the good news? There’s a lot we can do to prevent falls, minimising the risks, and therefore the potentially devastating results of a bad fall. Here at Ageing in Place, we’ve put together a Fall Prevention Guide filled with information about preventing falls to try to do just that. In this article, we’re providing you with some tips from the guide, but to get all the information you need, make sure you download the complete version.
Whether you need it in your role as a caregiver, if you or the person you are caring for has had a fall, is experiencing decreased mobility, is unsteady on their feet, or is fearful of falling, it should give you the tools you need to approach the problem and put a plan in place to prepare for a safer future.
Check out the section on Talking about Fall Prevention.
Step Two - Risk Factors in Falls
The key to preventing falls is knowing the risk factors, pinpointing them, and working to remove them altogether. So, where do you start? First, it’s worth noting the connection between falls and a whole host of issues such as a senior’s vision, medication they’re taking, chronic diseases, cognitive impairment, and more, not to mention risk factors in your home itself.
Check out the main risk factors to look out for: The Key is to Know Where to Look.
Step Three – Developing a Fall Prevention Plan
Once you’ve pinpointed some potential hazards and reasons behind feeling unsteady, or why you might suddenly be afraid of falling, it’s time to tackle those factors, ensuring you stay safe for longer.
There are many things you could do to ensure you’re kept safe. Make sure you’re ticking every one off this list: Develop a Falls Prevention Plan.
Key strategies to prevent falls
Our Falls Prevention Plan has all the in-depth information you need, but here’s a quick checklist of things to consider to get you started:
- Exercise more: by keeping active, you make sure you keep up your strength, mobility and agility, making you less likely to fall.
- Get enough sleep.
- Don’t rush when walking or getting up.
- Keep your body nourished with a balanced diet and lots of water.
- Get your sight and hearing checked regularly.
- Manage your medications and review them regularly, as some may make you prone to dizziness and falling.
- Wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
- Consider using a cane or other mobility device if you need it.
In your home
- Make sure every room is well-lit, especially hallways and stairs.
- Install handrails in high-risk areas and grab bars in the bathroom.
- Check your home for slip and trip hazards like rugs, cables and clutter.
- Ensure items you use regularly are within reach – especially in the kitchen.
Keeping active is vital to ageing in place safely and in comfort, and preventing falls is the key to doing just that. Ready to keep yourself and your loved one as safe as possible?