Fall Prevention

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Falls are the most common cause of fatal injury to the aged and sick.

Why do falls happen?

  • Person is weak, tired or ill
  • Person is not physically fit
  • Person may have problems seeing
  • Slippery or wet floors or stairs
  • Obstructed pathways
  • Darkness
  • Medicines may cause weakness, sleepiness, confusion or dizziness

How to reduce your risk of falling

What you can do:

  • Change position slowly. It is best to get up from a chair or bed slowly and turn your head slowly to avoid dizziness
  • Don't Hurry
  • Wear your glasses and/or hearing aid if you need them to see and/or to hear
  • Turn on lights especially in stairways and hallways
  • Wear proper fitting shoes with rubber bottom
  • Keep your personal items within reach
  • Ask if the medications you are taking may increase your risk of falling
  • If you are attached to any equipment, call for assistance to get out of bed
  • If you use a cane or walker make sure it is within reach
  • Do not lean on the bed side table or any movable equipment for support.
  • If you are sleepy, dizzy, or weak call for assistance before trying to get up

Assessing and adapting your living area:

  • Non-slip bathmats / Install hand rails
  • Keep bed in best position for safest entry and exit
  • Position chairs or other furnishing for easiest and safest transfer between bed and chair
  • Tack down or use double-sided take on edges of carpets and rugs to prevent them from moving; consider removing loose rugs
  • Have ample lighting without glare / use nightlights
  • Clear up clutter in hallways and living spaces that may impede safe passage

Caregivers should consider:

  • Carefully toilet all confused or frail patients proactively and frequently, especially when receiving diuretics and/or laxatives
  • Consider using a commode
  • Consider the use of bed monitors/alarms for those at higher levels of risk
  • Supervised walking and transfers
  • Consider balance and gait training / strength training

If your loved one is living in an assisted living or nursing facility:

  • Patiently explain where they are, why they are there, and how often you will be visiting and checking in
  • Introduce yourself to the administrator and leadership team, and ask them to meet your loved one and become familiar with their preferred schedule, food, hobbies, and level of social interaction they are most comfortable with
  • Help them become familiar with their surroundings – their room, bathroom, and overall facilities
  • If confused – ask to have them moved closer to the nursing station