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3 Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors Around the Home

Updated: Mar 12, 2023


People aged 65 and over are more likely to be hospitalised or die due to a fall compared with other life stages, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Wealth. However, the following simple fall prevention tips can help reduce the risk of falling and fall-related injuries for seniors.


Falls are common among seniors


While not all these falls do not result in injury, they can cause:

  • Hip and wrist fractures. Hip fractures in particular can carry long term repercussions for seniors. They may become less independent, increasing the chances of moving to an aged care facility and reliant on family members and carers.

  • Rib fractures

  • Hip and shoulder dislocations

  • Head injuries and bruising

The experience of a fall can also develop a fear of falling again- resulting in loss of confidence and restriction of activities.


3 Tips for fall prevention around the home


Tip 1: Assess fall hazards in and around the home

Fall prevention starts by taking steps to improve safety in and around your home.


With nearly 2 out of 3 fall-related accidents happening at home, assessing hazards can help reduce the chance of slipping and tripping.


Review the home to identify common hazards:


Steps and uneven surfaces

To make these easier to see, you can mark the leading edge with white paint or reflective strips.

Poor lighting

Upgrade bulb wattage or make lighting modifications, particularly between the bed and the bathroom - for nighttime toilet visits - and near any internal steps. Installing movement-sensitive lights near stairs and the bathroom can also assist. These changes can dramatically improve brightness around the home and help fall prevention.


Trip hazards

Many common household items prevent a fall risk - rugs, electrical cords, and floor mats, for example. Electrical cords could be run along or up the wall instead. Secure rugs and mats with tacks, and double-sided tape, or replace them with non-slip versions.

Slippery surfaces

Fall injuries are common in the bathroom due to the combination of water and potentially slippery surfaces. Install safety bars such as handrails and grab bars and use slip-resistant rubber mats in the bath and shower area.



Tip 2: Choose non-slip footwear

Choosing the right footwear for seniors is crucial to provide support and comfort while preventing falls.


Below are a few examples of the types of footwear that increase slips and falls.

  • Loose, worn or backless slippers

  • Slip-on shoes. These can slip out of place causing the wearer to trip

  • Shoes with slippery or worn soles increase the chance of slipping

  • Shoes with a narrow heel or higher than an inch can lead to rolling the ankle

  • Wearing socks with no shoes leads to slipping

When selecting seniors footwear designed for fall prevention, look for the following characteristics:

  • A hard, slip-resistant sole

  • Fitted correctly

  • Heel height lower than one inch

  • A high back or collar to support the ankle

  • A strong touch-fastening strap on the front to ensure they won't slip off

  • A wide opening to make it easy to get your foot in and out of the slipper which is important if you have restricted mobility

Slip-proof socks are also a wiser choice than walking in stockings or regular socks without grip.

 

Here at Adaptive Clothing Australia, we’re pleased to offer both the Pillow Paws and Cosyfeet range of products for fall prevention:


Pillow Paws Non-Slip Socks

Pillow Paws footwear incorporates a slip-resistant tread, which is applied to both sides of the socks (wraps around) for total coverage to maximise slip resistance.




Cosyfeet

Specially designed to fit and flatter swollen feet, Cosyfeet footwear is an ideal choice for seniors to increase fall prevention while not compromising on comfort.

 



Tip 3: Using assisted devices

Seniors with mobility or ability limitations can use adaptive tools around the home to help them perform daily activities without the risk of a fall. These types of devices are designed to “bridge the gap” helping older adults move safely from place to place.

  • Grab bars by the toilet and bathtub

  • Raised toilet seats can keep the older adults steady when standing up or sitting down.

  • Canes and walkers

  • A shower bench to sit and avoid falling in the shower

Following the tips above can greatly reduce the chance of a fall while also helping your senior loved ones maintain their independence and quality of life.


References:



 

About Adaptive Clothing Australia


We are a Brisbane-based, family run business with more than 22 years' experience working with aged care mobility products and clothing. We pride ourselves on delivering quality services with a caring, personal touch. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with the most accurate and reliable information to help you make informed decisions about your adaptive clothing needs.

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