Best Way To Use Phone.Com For Rotating On Call Staff Elder Care At Home – Reducing the Risk of Trips and Falls

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Elder Care At Home – Reducing the Risk of Trips and Falls

One of the major concerns as we age is tripping and falling. It also is a major concern for the families of elders. Everyone has heard the saying, “break a hip and it’s all over”. For many case managers the immediate solution that comes to mind is to place the elder out of the home where they will be safe. The thinking being that in placement, the elder is less apt to fall down. Think about this for minute. Is a person less apt to fall in a facility than they are at home and if so why? The answer to that question is, no, they are not less apt to fall in a facility than they are at home. Here is why.

No facility is equipped to provide enough staff to stay with an elder day and night, staying beside them assuring that they will not fall down, unless you are extremely wealthy. What the facility can provide is an environment that is free of items that cause trips and falls and equipped with items that help prevent trips and falls. This same environment can be provided at home.

What causes trips and falls by the elderly or anyone for that matter? Improper footwear, no footwear, slippery floors, uneven floors, not using an assistive device when needed due to an illness, lack of handrails, clutter, lack of appropriate safety devices in the bathing area, rushing to answer the phone or door, too much furniture or furniture placed inappropriately, and items needed frequently stored in inconvenient places.

Some simple and inexpensive adjustments to all of the above will reduce the risk of trips and falls which is really all anyone can do. Reducing the risk is all that can be done, for no one can prevent a fall. If the floors in your home are so uneven that they cannot be repaired; move, if you want to continue living at home. Remove area rugs, they are extremely dangerous, especially the ones without rubber backing. Do you have shoes that you know are slippery? If you do, get rid of them. If you’ve been advised to use an assistive device when walking because you have a balance problem; use it. Pride does come before a fall. Get rid of clutter around your home. Have you ever slipped on yesterday’s newspaper tossed on the floor? Install hand rails everywhere you need them. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and see if they can help you with this. It’s a federal program, they’re everywhere. Dress up your bathtub and/or shower. Install hand rails, get a shower seat, and install a rubber mat. Put a rubber mat on the floor as well for when you step out of the tub in addition to another device to support yourself. Purchase a cordless phone and slip into your pocket if you’re expecting a call so you don’t feel the urge to run to the phone or try to resist the urge. The first suggestion is the best. None of us wants to miss a call from a friend or loved one. Put things that you use a lot in easy reach so reduce the risk of stretching or frequently moving from place to place searching for it in frustration. Lastly place your furniture so that is helpful, not a hindrance. Some people use their furniture as a sort of handrail system to move from space to space. This is a great idea; just don’t use furniture that moves, like recliners or rotating chairs.

These are by no means all of the actions you can take to reduce the risk of trips and falls but it’s a very good start.

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