FALL PREVENTION FOR OLDER PERSONS
Now that you are staying at home, along with following the advice related to protecting yourself from coronavirus it is also important to keep you safe in your home.
If an older person is home alone without anyone to help them, here are the guidelines to follow in case of falling.
- Remain calm after falling to the ground, gather your strength!
- If you feel the need to, call emergency healthcare services: if you can reach your mobile telephone, call ambulance immediately.
If the older person is all alone and can not call anyone on the phone:
- Gather your strength (take deep breathes, give yourself some time) and stay on the floor for some moments. Do not try and get up immediately!
- Try to get up very slowly.
- If you’re lying on your back after falling, turn around. Getting up is much easier when you are lying on your belly.
- Try to get up on one knee and prop yourself with your lower arm.
- Now get up on your both knees. If possible, get a chair or any other piece of furniture to hold on to it as you are getting up.
- Sit on the chair for some time. If you are not feeling well, call help (neighbor, family members, or ambulance if you have injured yourself). Stay calm and collected!
- Always report your fall, even if you think you have not been hurt!
Recommendations for fall prevention in your home:
- Remove all small rugs that you can trip or slip on;
- Adequately position furniture around the house so that it does not hinder your movement and those household objects that you use regularly should be at adequate height and within easy reach
- House appliances and objects that you use often should after use be placed in their space – for example, vacuum cleaner should be stored after use or it could present a risk of tripping and falling over
- Cables, telephone wires, other installations should be either inside the wall or nailed to it;
- There should be adequate lighting in the older person’s home but also in the stairway outside of its door;
- A torch should be prepared for night walks to the toilet;
- Pay attention to your clothes and footwear. Clothes should not be too long and have elements dangling from it because they may get stuck in furniture. Do not go barefooted and do wear hard-soled footwear.
- Your telephones should be within reach at all times, and the emergency services numbers should be in their memory.
When the emergency passes
- Fix broken stairs and place hand holders on both sides
In the bathroom it is recommended to have handlebars at the toilet seat and the bath tub as well as rubber mats and chairs for the bath tub and adapters for the toilet seat. All of this needs to be adapted to the particular older person and their needs with consultations with professionals.