Every year, 5,000 people die shortly after a hip fracture –that is more than one person every two hours. Hip fractures are the most common cause of injury related death. Nearly one in five of those accidents take place in residential or nursing homes.
Mumby’s Live in care services provide the level of support you do not get in care homes. This means there in more 1-2-1 care and therefore less falls.
The live-in care hub’s report Better at Home found that those with live-in care had almost ONE THIRD fewer falls than those in residential care and nursing homes.
The Live-in Care hub’s top tips for avoiding falls is a combination of good practice and common sense with some basic, low cost precautions:
- Maintain and build muscle strength – keep active to improve strength, balance and functional impairment. Gentle exercise, such as a short walk or balance retraining like tai chi, is beneficial for the more mobile.
- Chose the right mobility aid – a tripod with wheels and brakes or walking frames can improve manoeuvrability considerably. A wheelie commode (concealed portable toilet) can help people move in and out of a shower room. And for those with frail mobility living in a house, stair lifts make life easier.
- Get tech savvy – homecare and technology go hand-in-hand and innovations such as automatic sensors, smart pillboxes and remote monitoring systems that share health data make it easier to monitor people and avoid distressing hospital stays. The latest models of fall alarms are incorporated into watches and bracelets and are more attractive.
- Gain familiarity – interventions tailored to the individual are best practice. Being with someone 24/7 means we can monitor changes in behaviour linked to UTIs, a common cause of falls, as well as risk factors like eyesight, blood pressure and medication.
- Reduce environmental hazards – special modifications can make the world of difference. Make sure furniture, clutter and loose wires don’t block common routes throughout the house.
Areas of concern include:
- Floor surfaces – use wall-to-wall carpet and ensure there are no unsecured mats, rugs or other trip hazards. Keep wood floors dry and clean, use non-skid wax and remove any raised thresholds. Dry spillages immediately.
- Lighting – ensure the house is well-lit throughout, especially on stairs and landings and use easy access switches.
- Bedroom – a lot of falls happen at night when people are disoriented. Beds with a firm mattress and at the right height are easier to get up out of and rails near the bed can help steady people. A bedside lamp that’s easy to switch on, call button, torch and a monitor or bell can also be handy.
- Bathroom – ensure there are non-slip surfaces, grab bars, a shower seat or non-slip mat in the bath.
- Sitting room – getting in and out of an armchair or sofa can be problematic so use ‘elephant feet’ to make standing up easier.
Mumby’s will provide personalised advice on preventing falls during our free initial assessment.
Taken from the Better At Home report, December 2016.