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PREVENTING FALLS TIPS

Our Tips For Prevention of Falls, Exeter.

Preventing the risk of a fall is important as it helps you to get ahead of any potential injuries or future problems. Horizon Care Ltd aim to provide the best care and support for people who have experienced a fall and provide useful tips and advice on the prevention of this. We want to keep you safe, which is why we have pulled together a list of suggestions to help prevent falls.

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Our Top Tips: Preventing Falls

Keep Active

Getting regular exercise helps to improve strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility, helping you to prevent the risk of falls. Some great ways to gain exercise include walking and swimming. Looking into the activities that your local fitness centre offer is another great choice, as it gives you the chance to keep active whilst meeting new people. Other exercises like Tai Chi and Yoga help to improve balance and muscle strength, giving you more confidence in your abilities.

Agencies who provide care like Horizon Care Ltd work with you to improve confidence and can help to encourage you to stay active. Talking to a doctor or healthcare professional helps to give you a clear idea of what exercise is best for you. It is important not to push yourself and do more than you are capable of. If you are referred to an occupational therapist, they will be able to advice you at home on suitable exercise programmes targeted to improve strength, how you take steps, and balance.

A great place to get free guides on how to improve strength and balance through exercises can be found on the Age UK website here.

Eat and Drink Well

Eating and drinking correctly is important as it helps to avoid medical conditions which may increase the risk of you falling. Ensuring that you have the right amount of nutrients prevents against feeling dizzy and lightheaded. It is recommended that meals are not skipped and that you drink enough fluids each day. Alcohol is a fluid to avoid as it can leave you feeling lightheaded and increase your risk of falls as a result of your reduced coordination.

Our agency are on hand to provide advice or guidance on how you should be eating and drinking while at home, decreasing your risk of having a fall.

Move Safely Around Your Home

Another helpful tip is to make sure that you are able to safely move around your home. You should take extra care when standing up, reaching for items, and sitting down. When moving from a lying to standing position, it is recommended that you approach this slowly and sit up first. This is especially relevant for those with a low blood pressure and helps to work against fainting or momentary losses of consciousness.

Fast or sudden movements can easily disturb your balance, resulting in a fall. You should take your time getting to the phone or answering the door. If you are unsteady on your feet, you should consider the use of walking aids at home. Horizon Care Ltd are always there to provide advice on what equipment is safe for you to use and it is necessary for these pieces to be checked on a regular basis to ensure the items are safe.

Keeping your telephone close by or being near to an aid call button gives you reassurance if you do need help at any point.

Use the Right Equipment and Aids

One of the major ways that you can reduce the risk of a fall is to make sure you are using the correct equipment or aids. Speaking to an occupational therapist can give you a useful insight into what equipment would be suitable for you and what they recommend being a useful aid. These pieces of equipment should be available to either loan from your local authority or from a specialist supplier.

There are many types of walking aids and equipment available, including:

  • Walking frames
  • Sticks
  • Ramps
  • Grab rails
  • Raised sears
  • Aids for accessing hard to reach items

Taking Extra Care When Washing, Dressing, and Using the Stairs

There are a few things you can do to take extra care while completing everyday tasks like washing, dressing and using the stairs. Staircases can be a common cause of falls and it is important that you pay attention to what you are doing. You should avoid carrying objects with you that interfere with your view of the next step, keep at least one hand on the rail, and make sure all your attention is on the task at hand.

Falls are also extremely common within the bedroom and bathroom. There are a few things you can do to help reduce your risk, including the installation of a hand or grab rail in the bathroom. Grabbing the nearest thing to you such as a tower rail or soap tray is not a good idea as they are not designed to take your weight. Letting the soap go down the drain before moving around the shower or bath can help to stop you falling, as can the use of a non-slip mat. If you have experienced falls in the past, it may be a good idea to get a shower chair to keep you safe while washing.

When in your bedroom, there are a few things to do to take extra care. Folding and arranging clothing in your room so that it is easy to reach prevents the need for overstretching and risky movements. Using non-slippery bedding sheets made from cotton prevents against falls, as does the use of aids such as blocks and rails.

Choosing the Right Footwear and Clothing

Having clothing and shoes that fit you can help you massively, as you are less likely to trip over long clothing or ill-fitting footwear. It helps to get your feet fitted professionally and to make sure that you choose footwear that helps to support your feet. When buying shoes or slippers, check to make sure you feel comfortable with the footwear on offer and that it has adequate grip. If you have trouble putting shoes on, it may be worth investing in a long-handled shoehorn to help you. Other suggestions are to keep toenails trimmed and to shop in the men’s department if you are a woman who can’t find a wide enough fit.

Keeping Your Home Free From Obvious Hazards

Being safe around your home is one of the best ways to prevent a fall from occurring. Objects or pieces of furniture which stick out and interfere with walking paths create unnecessary risks. Checking on a regular basis to ensure nothing is left as a hazard allows you to keep yourself safe. Some tips include:

  • Avoid leaving clothes, empty containers, or newspapers on the stairs
  • Check carpets and rugs for any tripping hazards such as frayed or loose edges
  • Always close drawers and cupboard doors
  • Ensure walkways are free from furniture and clutter
  • Clear up any spillages or puddles to prevent slipping
  • Be careful around pets as they may suddenly move in front of or jump on you

Having a care agency on side such as Horizon Care Ltd is helpful as they are fully trained to identify hazards and help you and your family to manage them.

Be Aware of Side Effects From Medicine

Another useful tip is to make yourself aware of any possible side effects which occur as a result of medication that you are on. A number of medication cause dizziness or weakness, so it is worth being aware of what may happen when taking the medication you are on. If you would like to find out more about your medication, speaking to a doctor or pharmacist can give you some reassurance on side effects and how to manage them.

Ensure You Can See Clearly

It may seem obvious, but without clear vision it can be difficult to navigate your way around the home. Always wear glasses if you need them, but you should remember to remove reading glasses before attempting to walk. Horizon Care Ltd are on hand to help you get your eyes checked regularly and ensure that adequate lighting is in place around your home.

Having a torch nearby is a great idea in case of an electricity outage.

Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Knowing when it is time to seek help is a tough decision to make, but it is important that you do this. Having a care agency on your side develops your confidence and gives you a way of retaining your independence. Our care and support services are flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs, giving you control over the care you receive.

HORIZON CARE LTD

Helping With The Prevention of Falls

For more details about our services, please give us a call today on 01392 426 340.

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