FALL PREVENTION

Why Falls Should Be Prevented

Apart from the physical injuries, an individual may never fully recover from a fall physically and psychologically. The effects of a fall may result in a lower quality of life through restricted activity and development of a fear of falling known as Post Fall Syndrome (PFS).

Symptoms of PFS can be lower confidence and hesitancy in their mobility and independence.

Fall Safe believes in a two-level approach: Be Prepared and Be Preventative. Wearing protective clothing from Fall Safe adheres to both, as you are ready for any unforeseen circumstances and protecting yourself again serious injury.

What Causes People To Fall

There are numerous factors that contribute to ones risk of falling:

  • Deterioration of vision and sense of feeling
  • Stiffening joints and weakening of muscles
  • Potential side effects from medication
  • Balance disorder
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Insufficient water intake and/or poor diet
  • Calcium deficiency, heightening the risk of a fracture
  • Incontinent or loss of bladder control leading to an urgency to get to the bathroom
  • Parkinson’s disease, stroke and arthritis are conditions which alter the way you move, making it difficult to react if a fall occurs
  • Low blood pressure or hypotension causing one to feel lightheaded. This may result from diabetes or changing of postural position and could lead to distortion of your eyesight and reduce feeling in your feet and legs
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia — Adults with dementia can become less aware of their surroundings and not able to react as quickly
  • Surgical recovery
  • History of previous falls
  • Poor lighting at home or outside
  • Uneven/slippery surfaces
  • Unsafe footwear
  • Sore feet

Home Assessment And Modifications

  • Sufficient lighting, particularly common areas (e.g. bedroom, bathroom, near any internal steps)
  • Remove clutter from walkways
  • Replace or repair carpets with worn areas or long threads
  • Check mats and rugs are secure with adhesive strips or non slip mats, including those in bathrooms-secure and smoothen out any edges
  • Ensure chairs and beds are sturdy
  • Wipe any spills
  • Install grab rails in bathrooms
  • Refrain from wearing clothing that is too long (e.g. robes), as this could be a trip hazard
  • Avoid wearing socks or loose slippers

It is also advisable to contact an Occupational Therapist about ways to make your home safer

 

 

How To Manage And Improve Physical Wellbeing To Reduce Risk Of Falling

  • Consult your doctor or relevant health professionals about:
    1. Your diet
    2. Medication
    3. Methods on managing chronic medical conditions, including dizziness and incontinence
  • Visit your optometrist annually
  • Visit your podiatrist to minimise foot problems
  • Wear shoes that are comfortable and within your size
  • Wear Fall Safe products to prevent injuries
  • Sufficient Vitamin D levels to maintain strong bones and muscles
  • Stay hydrated and have a healthy diet
  • Exercise, e.g. Tai Chi or balance and functional training

 

What To Do When A Fall Occurs At Home

  • Remain calm, refrain from panicking
  • Access yourself, whether you’re able to get up
  • Call out for assistance
  • Install an emergency button
  • Reach for a phone (ensure it is located at an easy to reach areas such as a low table) and dial one or more of the following:
  • Triple zero (000) for emergency services
  • Local/family doctor
  • Family members

 

 

Methods To Get Up

  • If you are on your back, roll over onto your stomach and slowly get into a crawling position, one hand or knee at a time
  • Crawl to a stable piece of furniture or grab rail
  • Try to get onto your knees
  • Push up using your strongest leg and arms whilst holding on to stable furniture or grab rail
  • Sit down on the furniture or move slowly toward a furniture

 

It is crucial to visit your doctor to check the severity of your injuries and to assess whether there was a underlying medical condition to cause the fall.

 

 

If You Can’t Get Up By Yourself

  • Use your personal alarm or phone
  • If you don’t have a personal alarm or phone, use an object you can reach to make a loud noise
  • If you know no one will hear you, keep warm (if the weather is cold) and try to get up again later
  • If the weather is cold, try crawling or drag yourself to a carpeted area and find items that can keep you warm, such as towels, clothing or blankets while waiting for help