Most falls among the elderly take place at home (usually in the bedroom and living area). Learn simple steps that you can take to reduce the risk of falls.
Did you know an average of 1 in 6 Singaporeans over the age of 60 suffers from a fall each year? Furthermore, most of these falls happen at home.
When an elderly suffers from a fall, it can result in serious injury or even permanent disability. Even without a serious injury, a fall may result in an elderly becoming less mobile. Resulting in reduced a social life and possibly leading to depression, loss of independence and confidence.
Common risk factors for falls include:
- Poor vision
- Poor balance
- Muscle weakness
- Poor memory
- Alcohol consumption
- Lack of regular exercise
- Medication that cause drowsiness
- Evironmental hazards such as objects lying on the floor
By making small changes to your lifestyle, habits and environment, you can reduce the risk of falls.
Begin by keeping your body healthy and fit. Other tips that help prevent falls at home include:
- Place or store frequently used items within easy reach
- Avoid standing on stools or chairs to reach for high shelves or compartments
- Use night lights in various corners at home
- Ensure stairs are well-lit even if you are familiar with the stairs
- Lay non-slip mats on toilet or bathroom floors
- Remove loose rugs or mats that tend to slide
- Install a hand rail or grab bar in the toilet or bathroom
When outside, remember to:
- Wear proper footwear (wear supportive, non-slip, low-heeled shoes that fit well)
- Protect your feet with socks
- If you use walking aids, make sure you are using them correctly
- Walking sticks should reach the crease of your wrist when you stand up straight
- Your elbow should bend a little when holding the walking stick
- Hold the walking stick on the opposite side that needs support
If you are on medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the effects of your medication. Make sure you are aware of the medication side effects and know how to take them correctly. Avoid overdose by using a pill box to organise your medicine.