An Inconvenient truth
In the UK, Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year. (NHS).
Whether this is minor, causing little to no damage, or a major fall, ending up with broken bones and hospitalisation, we must make the appropriate changes to our surroundings to make it easier to remain upright.
With this in mind, we have joined up with Medequip’s Wirral Falls Prevention Service to provide some suggestions of what changes could be made around your home to reduce this number and make it a safer place to spend the later years.
Fall-Proof Your Home
- Consider a Perching Stool if you’re struggling with tired joints or muscles for additional support when preparing dinner in the kitchen for example.
- Ensuring light is good in all areas of your home – especially on stairs. Motion-activated lights could be a great addition to your home.
- Use a bedside light when getting up at night. If a light is not easily accessible, keep a torch by the bed.
- Remove clutter – especially on halls and stairs.
- Remove loose rugs and mats (repair/replace worn/torn flooring).
- Rearrange furniture to enable easy access to all areas.
- Continually reaching up or bending down for things? Rearrange everyday items so they are within reaching distance to avoid unnecessary bending or stretching. Reacher/grabbers should also be considered for those with more limited reaching abilities than others.
- Consider a second stair rail or non-slip grab rails in the bathroom, entrance and exit of your property.
- Keep your garden path free of wet leaves, moss and ice and repair any cracks in the pavement. Consider installing an outdoor grab bar outside your door.
- Have the edges of outdoor steps painted yellow or white for visibility?
- Ask for help to move your recycle bins. If possible, ask a neighbour.
- Consider a key safe. Do not leave keys in locks as this could hinder access in an emergency. Also, consider a key turner like a keywing if you suffer from a weakened hand grip when attempting to open doors.
- Get a personal falls alarm for emergencies.
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm. Fire and safety concerns can be discussed with your local Fire and Rescue Service.
- A surprising number of people fall over their pets. Buy them a bright collar and a bell to alert you of their presence.