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Many elderly people suffer major health issues after a fall. Their children are naturally most concerned about the safety of their aging parents, whether they are at home or out. If unfortunately their parents do trip and fall at home, do they know how to deal with the situation? Here is some information about preventing falls for the elderly.

Reasons for Falls

Personal factors
  •  Vision decline: e.g. if the older person has presbyopia, cataracts, etc.
  • Health issues: if he has had a stroke, or has rheumatoid arthritis, or high blood pressure, or Parkinson disease, or suffers from cognitive decline
  • Joint and posture problems : without being aware of it, some elderly people have incorrect postures due to their weakened muscle strength or joint deformation
  • Personality traits and habit: Some are by nature inattentive, overconfident, impatient or stubborn
  • Drug effects: Certain medication may have the side effects of causing dizziness, drowsiness, syncope, blurred vision, or staggering/unstable steps, thus increasing  the possible risk of falling
Environmental Factors
  • Slippery floor
  • Poor lighting
  • Too many sundries in the house
  • Unsteady furniture
  • Other household traps
  • Clothing and/or footwear that do not fit
  • Improper use of auxiliary equipment
Tips for Falls Prevention
As long as you focus on home safety on a daily basis, and pay attention to the following advice, you could reduce your risk of falling.
  1. Keep the floor dry and avoid waxing. Remove water and grease stains from the floor. Make sure the floor is flat. Keep the passageway open and fix all wiring along walls. You should also remove sundry items and carpets from the floor. Cover the bathroom floor with non-slippery tiles, use anti-slippery adhesives in the bathtub, and install bathroom support handles in appropriate places.
  2.  Home lighting must be adequate. Light intensity recommendation: kitchen 60W; reading 150W; corridor 24W.
  3. The chair you choose must be solid and other furniture, which you should place against the wall , should be of the proper height for you.  Avoid sitting in the sofa, or on a low stool or on a folding chair.Do not sit on a chair which is unstable or has wheels.  It is advisable to choose a chair with the appropriate height so that when you sit ,your feet can rest comfortably on the ground; armrests are preferred to helpyou stand up with ease.
  4. Clothing and footwear selection
  • Clothing should not be too long or too big so as to minimize the hazard of tripping
  • Clothing should be of a style that is easy to wear and  take off
  • Make sure shoelaces are properly tied
  • Make sure the sole of the shoe is not too worn out that it does not have any more grip. Avoid wearing slippers outdoors and do not wear only socks indoors
  • Shoes should be of the proper size with the sole made of harder and non-slip material
  1. Use appropriate health products to improve the mobility of the elderly and  prevent falls. Commonly used single-point cane or a three/four-point cane and walkers.
 Emergency Treatment after falling
  • If you fall down accidentally, take a moment to calm down and do not panic
  • Check the degree of injury. If the limbs are unharmed, you can try to slowly move your body
  • Move along the floor to the edge of the wall or to a piece of stable furniture, then hold on to the furniture to  get up slowly
  • If you cannot stand up, you can try to make telephone calls , or press the help button, or open the door or gate and call out loudly for help.
  • If there is a bruise or wound, it should be treated first.
  • If you cannot move properly or are in pain, it could be a bone fracture even if there is no obvious wound. You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible and have a thorough check
  • If you feel dizziness or nausea, you should tell your family and caregiver as soon as possible
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