Those who work in Irish home care know that falls are a common and often serious concern for older adults.
Such incidents result in injury, hospitalisation and decreased independence. In addition to this, they can cause increased levels of stress and worry – not only to the person themselves, but amongst family members and carers, too.
Even if the fall does not result in serious harm, it can be a frightening experience. The person may become fearful of certain activities and shy away from habits they once enjoyed.
As a home carer, it is imperative that proper steps are taken to prevent such incidents occurring.
6 ways to prevent falls in Irish home care settings
Keep floors clear of clutters
It is natural that clutter accumulates in homes over time. Heirlooms, gifts, objects and junk items slowly but surely stockpile. However, they are serious tripping hazards and pose a significant risk to the elderly and individuals with mobility constraints.
Home carers should examine every room and remove all tripping hazards – such as cords, rugs and jumble – from walkways to reduce the risk of harm.
Handrails are a simple and effective way to provide support and stability in Irish home care environments.
Railings and grab bars can be added to stairs and bathrooms to aid the user getting on and off the toilet and stepping out of the bath or shower.
Poor lighting in homes can be a significant contributor to falls and accidents. Best practice in home care is to install brighter bulbs, especially in hallways and stairs. Meanwhile, night lights are a practical addition in bedrooms and bathrooms. Lamps placed on each side of a bed are easily reachable for people in case they need to get out of bed during the night. Carers should also ensure that flashlights are easily obtainable in case of power outages.
Use assistive devices
Assistive devices such as walkers and canes will reduce the risk of falls by adding support and increased stability for the user. Such implements also enable the individual to have increased independence in their own home.
Other devices that at home carers should consider include raised toilet seats and non-slip mats and threads.
Most Irish home care experts will tell you that regular exercise is key to maintaining a good quality of life.
In addition, physical activity prevents falls by improving balance and coordination.
Sensor technology can be utilised to reduce the risk of falls and ensure a prompt response in the event of a fall using a discreet wrist worn bracelet.
Hibernia Home Care is working closely with a partner in this field to bring this technology to our customers in 2023 as an additional layer of peace of mind and safety.
By following these tips, you can help prevent falls and keep your loved one or client safe in the home.
Furthermore, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or occupational therapist for personalised recommendations on fall prevention strategies.
If you have any questions about any of the above points or about Irish home care, please contact us now on (01) 524 0242. We’re always here to talk.