However, there are many good measures that can be taken to prevent falls at home, so you can keep living at home for as long as possible.
In this article, we look at 6 appropriate measures you can take to prevent falls at home.
1. Stay active
One of the best ways to maintain good health is to use your body and keep active. Studies show that even very slow strolls significantly reduce the risk of premature death. Short walks, gardening, vacuuming or strolling around the store is all it takes to maintain good health.
A study conducted among 36,000 people in Norway, Sweden, England and the US shows that continuing to walk the stairs in their own home also helps to reduce fall risk and maintain good health.
One of the best measures to prevent falls and maintain good health is thus to keep you in physical activity for as long as possible.
2. Sign up for balance training classes
Fall prevention training is the one measure that has the greatest effect in preventing falls among the elderly. About 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls according to the NHS.
An increasing number of municipalities and other organizations offer courses and regular training programs for the elderly. One of the objectives of this is that more people should be able to maintain good health and prevent fall injuries. This delays the need for nursing care and makes you more independent of the help of others to cope with your everyday life.
Get in touch with your community center or your local sports club and ask about courses for seniors such as senior gymnastics or balance training!
Keeping your home properly lit reduces the chance of tripping over objects that can be difficult to spot:
- Place night lights next to the bed in case you need to go to the bathroom at night.
- Have light switches easily accessible, or set up wireless light switches so you can place them where you need them.
- Turn on the light when walking the stairs. Also consider setting up your own lighting in your stairs.
- Have a flashlight available in the nightstand drawer in case a power outage.
4. Rugs and shoes
Although rugs can be good for maintaining underfloor heating, they can often be a direct cause of falls at home. It only takes some lack of attention to get your foot stuck under the carpet edge, which could potentially end up in a fall.
It is therefore recommended that you remove all unnecessary rugs and wear shoes indoors so as not to get cold feet.
5. Adjust your home environment with the right aids
Stairs are the area where consequences of a fall are absolutely highest in the home. Unfortunately, it is estimated that in the UK there is a fall on stairs every 90 seconds, often with major consequences such as hip fractures or femoral neck fractures for the elderly.
Fortunately, there are solutions that make it safer and easier to continue using the stairs in your own home. The Norwegian-developed stair assistant AssiStep is a "Stair Walker" that acts as a fall prevention and provides increased support both on the up and down stairs in your own home.