Fall Prevention for Elderly: What Can We Do to Improve the Home Setting?
Fall Prevention for Elderly: What Can We Do to Improve the Home Setting?

Fall Prevention for Elderly: What Can We Do to Improve the Home Setting?

According to statistics, falls are the leading cause of accidental death for people over 65 years old. Properly improving the home environment can help prevent falls.
One of the most common places in daily life for seniors to have a fall or fracture accident is in their homes. It is necessary to check the home environment to reduce hidden dangers.

  1. Obstacles
    The basic principle of the living environment of the elderly is that the simpler the space planning, the better.
    Clear all obstacles according to traffic flow, including door thresholds (because the action of lifting the foot across the threshold concentrates the center of gravity on one foot, it can easily make the elderly fall), piles of debris, furniture, electric wires, uneven carpets and lush vines. Because the less flexibility of the elderly, coupled with poor eyesight, will increase their risk of falling.
  1. Lighting
    The elderly’s vision will gradually degenerate, so maintaining bright light in their range of activities is an effective measure to prevent falls. However, the light should not be too harsh, but also to avoid reflections from the shiny floor and furniture, otherwise it is easy to cause interference and increase the visual impairment of the elderly.
    In addition to having a permanent night light in the room, you can also set up inductive lighting in the hallway, threshold or stairs to avoid tripping over obstacles.
    You can also stick glow-in-the-dark stickers on the light switches, because it will be difficult for the elderly to find the switch at night.
Photo by Haley Truong on Unsplash
  1. Anti-slip flooring
    Rough-surfaced floor tiles are effective in preventing slippage in the living room. Bathroom flooring is also recommended to use a material with good grip and no polish.
    If you don’t want to modify the floor, you can use non-slip strips and stick them in places where you are likely to fall, such as bathrooms, stairs, and under the bed.
    The sticking interval of the anti-slip strip should be shorter than the length of the sole of the foot.
  1. Stable handrails
    The handrails are convenient for the elderly to move around indoors. If the elderly grab the handrail when they’re about to fall, it helps to avoid serious injuries.
    It is best not to let the elderly use the bathtub, because when entering the bathtub, you must lift one foot very high, it is easy to fall. If the elderly do like to use the bathtub, be sure to add a solid handrail on the side.
    The height of the handrail installation in the home should be adjusted according to the height of the user.
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  1. Stairs
    Research statistics show that more than 70% of falls occur at home, and about 10% of them are on the stairs.
    Many elderly people fell down the last level when they went down the stairs. Properly extending the last level of the stairs to help prevent it from happening.
    It’s better to use stair tread covers at home.
  1. Chair
    Chairs that are too low and too soft are not suitable for the elderly. Because getting up and sitting down can be difficult for the elderly. Buying a stand up recliner is a good choice. It can not only help the elderly to stand, there are some auxiliary functions, such as massage and heating, making the life of the elderly more convenient.
  1. Bedding and shoes
    It’s better for the elderly not to use smooth quilts and sheets such as silk satin to avoid accidentally stepping on them when getting in and out of bed, in order to prevent falling.
    Old or badly worn shoes, or ones with too little slip resistance may cause the risk of falls for the elderly.

A combination of balance training, resistance exercises, walking, and weight shifting exercises can help reduce the risk of falls.
Studies by many rehabilitation physicians have also confirmed that practicing Tai Chi is effective in preventing the elderly from falling and reduce the complications after falling.

It is necessary for the elderly to have regular vision and whole-body checkups. If the blood pressure is too low or the heart rhythm is too low, it may induce falls.
When the physical condition of the elderly allows, balance training can be done on a daily basis to preserve bone mass, but also to strengthen muscles and enhance balance and coordination

If something bad really happens, what should you do after a fall? Learn more about the first-aid steps and remember to stay calm.

Photo by Lucie Hošová on Unsplash

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  1. Pingback: 7 Common Causes of Falls in the Elderly - Irene House Official Blog

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